Offshore Minerals Act 2003

 

Offshore Minerals Act 2003

CONTENTS

Chapter 1 — Introduction

Part 1.1 — Legislative formalities and background

1.           Short title                                                                         2

2.           Commencement                                                               2

3.           Commonwealth‑State agreement (the Offshore Constitutional Settlement) 2

Part 1.2 — Interpretation

Division 1 — General

4.           Notes in the text                                                               5

5.           Interpretation                                                                   5

5A.        Relationship with Environmental Protection Act 1986    10

6.           Shares in a licence                                                          10

7.           Transfer of a licence                                                       10

8.           Successor licences                                                          11

9.           Section number not used                                                 12

10.         Position on the Earth’s surface                                        12

11.         Section number not used                                                 13

12.         Power to vary and revoke instruments                             13

Division 2 — Basic concepts

13. – 15. Section numbers not used                                                14

16.         Coastal waters, and effect of change in baseline               14

17.         Blocks                                                                           16

18.         Reserved block                                                               17

19.         Standard block                                                                18

20.         Tender block                                                                  18

21.         Discrete area                                                                 18

22.         Minerals                                                                         18

23.         Exploration                                                                     18

24.         Recovery                                                                       19

25.         Licence holder                                                                19

26.         Associates                                                                     19

27.         Confidential information                                                  20

28.         Confidential sample                                                         21

Part 1.3 — Administration of the Commonwealth‑State offshore area

29.         Definitions                                                                      22

30.         Minister as member of Joint Authority, or as Designated Authority           22

31.         State officer acting under delegation                                22

32. – 34. Section numbers not used                                                23

Part 1.4 — Application of this Act

35.         Act does not apply to exploration for or recovery of petroleum                 24

36.         Section number not used                                                 24

37.         Act applies to all individuals and corporations                    24

Chapter 2 — Regulation of offshore exploration and mining

Part 2.1 — General

38.         General prohibition on exploring and mining without appropriate authorisation                25

38A.      Exploration and mining in marine reserves and fish habitat protection areas                  25

38B.      Consultation with other Ministers                                     29

39.         Licences and consents available under this Act                 29

40.         Steps involved in the grant of a fully effective licence        31

41.         Approval of form and manner of applications etc.             32

42.         Rights to minerals recovered                                           33

43.         Effect of grant of licence or special purpose consent on native title           33

44.         Licence etc. does not authorise unnecessary interference with other activities in the licence area34

Part 2.2 — Exploration licences

Division 1 — General

45.         Exploration licences                                                        36

46.         Activities authorised by an exploration licence                  36

47.         Minister may cancel or not renew exploration licence without compensation                 37

48.         Licence rights may be suspended                                     37

49.         Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights         38

Division 2 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over standard blocks

50.         Application for exploration licence over standard block      39

51.         Excluded blocks                                                              39

52.         Minister may determine that excluded block is available    40

53.         Minister may allow application for more than one discrete area                 41

54.         How to apply                                                                  41

55.         Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application         43

56.         Payment of fee                                                               43

57.         Application must be advertised                                        43

58.         How multiple applications are dealt with                           44

59.         Discussions about blocks applied for                                45

60.         Advertising revised application                                         46

61.         Request for further information                                        48

62.         Section number not used                                                 48

63.         Minister may provisionally grant licence                           48

64.         Section number not used                                                 48

65.         Matters to be specified in the licence                               49

66.         Applicant must be notified                                               49

67.         Amendment of conditions                                                50

68.         Amendment of security requirements                               50

69.         Extension of primary payment period                               50

70.         Acceptance of grant of exploration licence for standard block                  51

71.         Conditions applicable to licence on grant                           51

72.         Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence               52

Division 3 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over tender block

73.         Matters to be determined before applications for exploration licence over tender blocks invited52

74.         Minister may invite applications for exploration licence over tender blocks 52

75.         Tender block licence notice — exploration licence            52

76.         Application for exploration licence over tender blocks       53

77.         How to apply                                                                  53

78.         Payment of fee                                                               54

79.         Request for further information                                        55

80.         Section number not used                                                 55

81.         Minister may provisionally grant licence                           55

82.         Section number not used                                                 55

83.         Successful applicant must be notified                               56

84.         Acceptance of grant of exploration licence over tender blocks                  56

85.         Conditions applicable to licence on grant                           57

86.         Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence               57

87.         Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses              57

Division 4 — Duration of exploration licence

88.         Initial term of exploration licence                                     58

89.         Term of renewal of exploration licence                            58

90.         Effect of suspension of rights on term of exploration licence59

91.         Effect of application for renewal on term of exploration licence                59

92.         Effect of application for retention licence or mining licence on term of exploration licence60

93.         Effect of application for extension on term of licence        60

94.         Extension of licence — activities disrupted                       61

95.         Grant of licence extension — activities disrupted              61

96.         Extension of licence — other circumstances                     63

97.         Grant of licence extension — other circumstances            63

98.         Notification of decision                                                    63

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of exploration licence area

99.         Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains      64

100.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if up to 3 discrete areas remain                  64

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of exploration licence

101.       Application for renewal of exploration licence                   65

102.       When application to be made                                           66

103.       How to apply for renewal                                                66

104.       Mandatory reduction of licence area on renewal of exploration licence      67

105.       Request for further information                                        68

106.       Payment of fee                                                               68

107.       Section number not used                                                 68

108.       Provisional renewal of an exploration licence                    69

109.       Section number not used                                                 69

110.       Applicant must be notified                                               69

111.       Amendment of conditions                                                70

112.       Amendment of security requirements                               70

113.       Extension of primary payment period                               71

114.       Acceptance of renewal of exploration licence                   71

115.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal                      72

116.       Lapse of provisional renewal of exploration licence           72

Division 7 — Obligations associated with exploration licence

117.       General                                                                          72

118.       Conditions of exploration licence                                      73

119.       No conditions requiring payment of money                       74

120.       Variation of conditions                                                    74

121.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions                      75

122.       Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended            77

123.       Work practices                                                               77

124.       Licence holder must keep specified records etc.               78

125.       Licence holder must assist inspectors                               78

Division 8 — Expiry of exploration licence

126.       General                                                                          79

127.       Voluntary surrender of exploration licence                        79

128.       Automatic expiry of exploration licence when retention licence takes effect                 79

129.       Automatic expiry of exploration licence when mining licence takes effect  80

130.       Cancellation of exploration licence                                   80

131.       Obligations of former exploration licence holders and former associates    81

Part 2.3 — Retention licences

Division 1 — General

132.       Retention licences                                                           83

133.       Activities authorised by a retention licence                       83

134.       Minister may cancel or not renew retention licence without compensation 84

135.       Licence rights may be suspended                                     84

136.       Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights         85

Division 2 — Application for and grant of retention licence

137.       Application for retention licence                                       86

138.       How to apply                                                                  86

139.       Payment of fee                                                               88

140.       Application must be advertised                                        88

141.       Request for further information                                        89

142.       Section number not used                                                 90

143.       Minister may provisionally grant licence                           90

144.       Section number not used                                                 90

145.       Grounds for granting retention licence                              90

146.       Matters to be specified in the licence                               91

147.       Applicant must be notified                                               92

148.       Amendment of conditions                                                92

149.       Amendment of security requirements                               93

150.       Extension of primary payment period                               93

151.       Acceptance of grant of retention licence                          94

152.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant                           94

153.       Lapse of provisional grant of retention licence                  94

Division 3 — Duration of retention licence

154.       Initial term of retention licence                                         95

155.       Term of renewal of licence                                             95

156.       Effect of application for renewal on term of retention licence96

157.       Effect of application for mining licence on term of retention licence          96

Division 4 — Voluntary surrender of part of retention licence area

158.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains      97

Division 5 — Application for and grant of renewal of retention licence

159.       Application for renewal of retention licence                      97

160.       When application to be made                                           97

161.       How to apply for renewal                                                98

162.       Request for further information                                        98

163.       Payment of fee                                                               99

164.       Section number not used                                                 99

165.       Provisional renewal of retention licence                            99

166.       Section number not used                                                100

167.       Matters that may be taken into account                          100

168.       Refusal of application for renewal                                  100

169.       Applicant must be notified                                             101

170.       Amendment of conditions                                              101

171.       Amendment of security requirements                             102

172.       Extension of primary payment period                              102

173.       Acceptance of renewal of retention licence                    103

174.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal                     103

175.       Lapse of provisional renewal of retention licence            104

Division 6 — Obligations associated with retention licence

176.       General                                                                        104

177.       Conditions of retention licence                                       104

178.       No conditions requiring payment of money                      106

179.       Variation of conditions                                                   106

180.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions                    107

181.       Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended            108

182.       Significant changes in circumstances to be reported to Minister                109

183.       Work practices                                                             109

184.       Licence holder must keep specified records etc.             110

185.       Licence holder must assist inspectors                             110

Division 7 — Expiry of retention licence

186.       General                                                                        111

187.       Voluntary surrender of retention licence                         111

188.       Automatic expiry of retention licence when mining licence takes effect     111

189.       Cancellation of retention licence, breach of condition etc. 112

190.       Cancellation of retention licence, mining activities viable  113

191.       Obligations of former retention licence holders and former associates       114

Part 2.4 — Mining licences

Division 1 — General

192.       Mining licences                                                             116

193.       Activities authorised by a mining licence                         116

194.       Minister may cancel or not renew mining licence without compensation    117

195.       Licence rights may be suspended                                   117

196.       Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights         118

Division 2 — Application for and grant of mining licence over standard blocks

197.       Application for mining licence over vacant standard block 119

198.       Holder of exploration licence or retention licence may apply for mining licence             119

199.       How to apply                                                                120

200.       Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application       121

201.       Payment of fee                                                             121

202.       Application must be advertised                                       122

203.       How multiple applications are dealt with                         123

204.       Request for further information                                      123

205.       Section number not used                                                124

206.       Minister may provisionally grant licence                          124

207.       Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park124

208.       Refusal of application for mining licence made under section 198              124

209.       Matters to be specified in the licence                              125

210.       Applicant must be notified                                             126

211.       Amendment of conditions                                              126

212.       Amendment of security requirements                             127

213.       Extension of primary payment period                              127

214.       Acceptance of grant of mining licence for standard block 128

215.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant                         128

216.       Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence                    128

Division 3 — Application for and grant of mining licence over tender block

217.       Matters to be determined before applications for mining licence over tender blocks invited129

218.       Minister may invite applications for mining licence over tender blocks       129

219.       Tender block licence notice — mining licence                 130

220.       Application for mining licence over tender blocks            131

221.       How to apply                                                                131

222.       Payment of fee                                                             132

223.       Request for further information                                      132

224.       Section number not used                                                132

225.       Minister may provisionally grant licence                          132

226.       Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park133

227.       Successful applicant must be notified                              133

228.       Acceptance of grant of mining licence over tender blocks 134

229.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant                         134

230.       Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence                    135

231.       Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses             135

Division 4 — Duration of mining licence

232.       Initial term of mining licence                                          135

233.       Term of renewal of licence                                            136

234.       Effect of application for renewal on term of mining licence137

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of mining licence area

235.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains    137

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of mining licence

236.       Application for renewal of mining licence                       138

237.       When application to be made                                         138

238.       How to apply for renewal                                              138

239.       Request for further information                                      139

240.       Payment of fee                                                             139

241.       Section number not used                                                139

242.       Provisional renewal of mining licence                             140

243.       Section number not used                                                140

244.       Matters that may be taken into account                          140

245.       Refusal of application for renewal                                  140

246.       Applicant must be notified                                             141

247.       Amendment of conditions                                              142

248.       Amendment of security requirements                             142

249.       Extension of primary payment period                              143

250.       Acceptance of renewal of mining licence                       143

251.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal                     144

252.       Lapse of provisional renewal of mining licence                144

Division 7 — Obligations associated with mining licence

253.       General                                                                        144

254.       Conditions of mining licence                                           145

255.       No conditions requiring payment of money                      146

256.       Variation of conditions                                                   146

257.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions                    147

258.       Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended            149

259.       Work practices                                                             149

260.       Licence holder must pay royalty                                     150

261.       Licence holder must keep specified records                    150

262.       Licence holder must assist inspectors                             151

Division 8 — Expiry of mining licence

263.       General                                                                        151

264.       Voluntary surrender of mining licence                            151

265.       Cancellation of mining licence                                        151

266.       Obligations of former mining licence holders and former associates           153

Part 2.5 — Works licences

Division 1 — General

267.       Works licences                                                             155

268.       Activities authorised by a works licence                         155

269.       Minister may cancel or not renew works licence without compensation     156

Division 2 — Application for and grant of works licence

270.       Application for works licence                                         156

271.       How to apply                                                                156

272.       Payment of fee                                                             157

273.       Applicant to notify licence holders affected by the application 157

274.       Application must be advertised                                       157

275.       Section number not used                                                159

276.       Minister may provisionally grant licence                          159

277.       Section number not used                                                159

278.       Matters to be specified in the licence                              159

279.       Applicant must be notified                                             159

280.       Amendment of conditions                                              160

281.       Amendment of security requirements                             161

282.       Extension of primary payment period                              161

283.       Acceptance of grant of works licence                            161

284.       Conditions applicable to works licence on grant               162

285.       Lapse of provisional grant of works licence                    162

Division 3 — Duration of works licence

286.       Initial term of works licence                                           162

287.       Term of renewal of works licence                                  163

288.       Effect of application for renewal on term of works licence163

Division 4 — Application for and grant of renewal of works licence

289.       Application for renewal of works licence                        164

290.       When application to be made                                         164

291.       How to apply for renewal                                              164

292.       Payment of fee                                                             165

293.       Section number not used                                                165

294.       Provisional renewal of works licence                              165

295.       Section number not used                                                166

296.       Applicant must be notified                                             166

297.       Amendment of conditions                                              166

298.       Amendment of security requirements                             167

299.       Extension of primary payment period                              168

300.       Acceptance of renewal of works licence                        168

301.       Conditions applicable to works licence on renewal           169

302.       Lapse of provisional renewal of works licence                169

Division 5 — Obligations associated with works licence

303.       General                                                                        169

304.       Conditions of works licence                                           169

305.       No conditions requiring payment of money                      171

306.       Variation of conditions                                                   171

307.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions                    172

308.       Work practices                                                             173

309.       Licence holder must keep specified records etc.             174

310.       Licence holder must assist inspectors                             174

Division 6 — Expiry of works licence

311.       General                                                                        175

312.       Voluntary surrender of works licence                             175

313.       Cancellation of works licence                                        175

314.       Obligations of former works licence holders and former associates           176

Part 2.6 — Special purpose consents

315.       Special purpose consents                                               178

316.       Activities authorised by a special purpose consent           178

317.       Application for a consent                                               179

318.       How to apply                                                                179

319.       Payment of fee                                                             179

320.       Applicant must obtain agreement of exploration, retention and mining licence holders affected by the application180

321.       Applicant to notify works licence holders affected by the application         180

322.       Section number not used                                                181

323.       Minister may grant special purpose consent                    181

324.       Section number not used                                                181

325.       Matters to be specified in the consent                             181

326.       Duration of consent                                                       182

327.       Conditions of consent                                                    182

Chapter 3 — Registration and Dealings

Part 3.1 — Registration

Division 1 — Preliminary

328.       Register to be kept                                                        183

329.       Document files to be kept                                              183

330.       Form of register and document file                                 184

331.       Correction of errors in the register                                 184

332.       Inspection of register and documents                              185

Division 2 — Matters to be entered in register

Subdivision A — Licences

333.       Licences                                                                      186

334.       Renewal of licences                                                      187

335.       Extension of exploration licences                                    187

336.       Expiry of licences                                                         188

337.       Variations etc. to licences                                              188

338.       Transfer of licences                                                      190

339.       Other dealings in licences                                              191

340.       Devolution of licences                                                   192

Subdivision B — Caveats

341.       Effect of a caveat                                                         193

342.       Lodgment of caveats                                                     194

343.       Form of caveat                                                             194

344.       Payment of fee                                                             195

345.       Caveat to be registered                                                 195

346.       Withdrawal of caveat                                                    195

347.       Form of withdrawal                                                       196

348.       Duration of caveat                                                        196

349.       Notice to caveat holder                                                 197

350.       Caveat holder may consent to registration                       198

351.       Orders that can be made by a court in relation to caveats 199

Division 3 — Miscellaneous

352.       Fees for registration                                                      200

352A.    Exemption from stamp duty                                           200

353.       Protection from legal actions                                          200

354.       Application to court for correction of register                  201

355.       Appeals against determinations under section 352           202

356.       Section number not used                                                202

357.       Evidentiary value of register                                          202

358.       Certified copy of document on document file                  203

359.       Certification of registration action                                   203

Part 3.2 — Dealings in licences

Division 1 — Dealings in licences to be in writing and registered

360.       Dealings in licences to be in writing                                204

361.       Dealings in interests in licences not effective until registered204

Division 2 — Approval of transfer of licences

362.       Transfers require approval by Minister                           204

363.       Application for approval of transfer                                205

364.       Minister may ask for further information                         206

365.       Minister’s response to application for approval                206

366.       Protection from legal actions                                          207

Chapter 4 — Administration

Part 4.1 — Information management

367.       Minister may ask person for information                         208

368.       Power to ask person to appear                                       209

369.       Power to examine on oath or affirmation                        209

370.       Minister may ask for documents                                    210

371.       Minister may ask for samples                                        211

372.       Obligation to comply with request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371 211

373.       Immunity from use of information etc. given in response to request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371212

374.       Restrictions on release of confidential material                213

375.       Circumstances in which confidential material may be released                  214

376.       Certain reports to be made available                               215

Part 4.2 — Monitoring and enforcement

Division 1 — Inspections

377.       Compliance inspections                                                 216

378.       Powers exercisable in course of inspection                     216

379.       Inspection of licence‑related premises etc. without warrant218

380.       Inspection of other premises etc. with occupier’s consent 219

381.       Inspection of other premises etc. with warrant                219

382.       Procedure for obtaining warrant                                     219

383.       Further provisions as to exercise of powers under warrant220

384.       Occupier to cooperate with inspector                             221

Division 2 — Directions

385.       Directions by Minister must be obeyed                           221

386.       Scope of directions                                                        221

387.       Minister may give directions                                          223

388.       Direction may incorporate material in another document  223

389.       Direction may impose absolute prohibition                       224

390.       Direction may extend to associates                                224

391.       Holder to give notice of direction to associates                224

392.       Power to give directions after licence etc. ends               225

393.       Effect of directions on other instruments                         225

394.       Minister may specify time for compliance                       225

395.       Minister may take action if holder fails to comply            226

396.       Costs incurred by Minister in taking action under section 395226

397.       Defences to actions to recover debts                              227

Division 3 — Securities

398.       Securities                                                                     227

399.       Determination of requirement to lodge security               228

400.       Application of security                                                   229

Division 4 — Restoration of environment

401.       Removal of property from coastal waters                       230

402.       Rehabilitation of damaged areas                                     231

Division 5 — Safety zones

403.       Declaration of safety zone around a structure or equipment231

404.       Effect of declaration of safety zone                                232

405. – 420.                                                 Section numbers not used 233

Part 4.3 — Inspectors

421.       Appointment of inspectors                                             234

422.       Identity cards                                                                234

423.       Return of identity card                                                   234

Part 4.4 — Licence fees and royalty

Division 1 — Licence fees

424.       Definition                                                                     235

425.       Licence fees                                                                 235

426.       Limit on amount of fees                                                 236

427.       Time for payment                                                         236

Division 2 — Royalty

428.       Definition                                                                     236

429.       Royalty                                                                        237

430.       Rate of royalty                                                              237

431.       Reduction of royalty in certain cases                              237

432.       Fixing of landed value                                                    238

433.       Fixing of quantity                                                          238

434.       Time for payment                                                         238

435.       State to pay 40% of royalties to Commonwealth             238

Division 3 — Penalties and recovery

436.       Penalty if fee or royalty overdue                                    239

437.       Fees etc. recoverable as debts                                       239

Chapter 5 — Miscellaneous

438.       State functions under Part 5.1 of Commonwealth Act     240

439.       Minister’s approval required for certain transactions under Land Administration Act 1997241

440.       Delegation by Minister                                                  241

441.       False statements                                                           241

442.       Service of documents on licence holders etc.                  242

443.       Regulations                                                                   242

444.       Savings and transitional provisions                                  244

Schedule 1 — Area in which coastal waters are situated

Schedule 2 — Savings and transitional provisions

1.           Interpretation                                                                247

2.           Existing exploration licences under Mining Act for coastal waters             247

3.           Existing mining leases under Mining Act for coastal waters249

4.           Existing exploration licences under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and to other areas249

5.           Existing mining leases under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and to other areas251

6.           Registration                                                                  252

7.           Document file                                                               252

8.           Securities                                                                     253

9.           Licence fees                                                                 253

10.         Pending applications under Mining Act that relate only to coastal waters   253

11.         Pending applications under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and other areas254

12.         Powers in relation to transitional provisions                     255

Defined Terms

 

 

 

Offshore Minerals Act 2003

No. 10 of 2003

An Act relating to exploration for, and the recovery of, minerals (other than petroleum) in the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea in respect of Western Australia, and for related purposes.

 

[Assented to 17 April 2003]

 

The Parliament of Western Australia enacts as follows:

 

Chapter 1Introduction

Part 1.1Legislative formalities and background

1.           Short title

             This Act may be cited as the Offshore Minerals Act 2003.

2.           Commencement

             This Act comes into operation on a day fixed by proclamation.

3.           Commonwealth‑State agreement (the Offshore Constitutional Settlement)

     (1)    The Commonwealth and the States have agreed that — 

                 (a)    Commonwealth offshore mining legislation should be limited to the area that is outside State coastal waters; and

                 (b)    the States should share, in the manner provided by the Offshore Minerals Act 1994 of the Commonwealth, in the administration of the Commonwealth offshore mining legislation; and

                 (c)    State offshore mining legislation should apply to State coastal waters beyond the baseline for the territorial sea (that is, the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea); and

                 (d)    the Commonwealth and the States should try to maintain, as far as practicable, common principles, rules and practices in regulating and controlling offshore mining beyond the baseline of Australia’s territorial sea.

Note 1:     So far as the agreement relates to petroleum, it is reflected in this State’s legislation by the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982.

Note 2:     Some sections of the Commonwealth Act contain provisions that are not relevant to the operation of this Act. To keep uniformity between this Act and the Commonwealth Act the numbers of the sections that are not relevant up to section 423 have not been used in the numbering of this Act. A section of this Act and the corresponding section of the Commonwealth Act up to section 423 will therefore have the same number. From section 424 onwards the two Acts differ significantly and uniformity of numbering has not been maintained.

     (2)    Other Acts that provide background in this State to the agreement (commonly referred to as the “Offshore Constitutional Settlement”) are — 

                 (a)    the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973, the Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act 1980, the Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth; and

                 (b)    the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State.

Note 1:     The Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 — 

·declares and enacts that the sovereignty in respect of the territorial sea and the associated airspace, seabed and subsoil is vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

·gives the Governor‑General power to declare, by Proclamation, the limits of the territorial sea;

·declares and enacts that the sovereignty in respect of waters of the sea that are on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea (but not within the limits of a State) and in respect of the associated airspace, seabed and subsoil is vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

·declares and enacts that the sovereign rights of Australia as a coastal State in respect of the Continental Shelf of Australia (for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources) are vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

·gives the Governor‑General power to declare, by Proclamation, the limits of the Continental Shelf of Australia.

Note 2:     The Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act 1980 was enacted following a request from the Parliaments of all the States under paragraph 51(xxxviii) of the Constitution of the Commonwealth and provides that the legislative powers exercisable under the Constitution of each State extend to the making of certain laws that would operate offshore.

Note 3:     The Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 vests in each State certain property rights in the seabed beneath the coastal waters of the State.

Note 4:     The Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State make provision, based on the agreement referred to in subsection (1), for the licensing regime that applies to the exploration for and recovery of petroleum in coastal waters and offshore areas of this State.

Part 1.2Interpretation

Division 1 — General

4.           Notes in the text

             Notes and diagrams in this Act are provided to assist understanding and do not form part of the Act.

5.           Interpretation

             In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears — 

              approved means approved by the Minister under section 41;

              “associate” has the meaning given by section 26(1);

              “associated agent of an associated contractor” has the meaning given by section 26(4);

              “associated agent of the holder” has the meaning given by section 26(3);

              “associated contractor of the holder” has the meaning given by section 26(2);

              “associated employee of an associated contractor” has the meaning given by section 26(6);

              “associated employee of the holder” has the meaning given by section 26(5);

              “block” means a portion of the coastal waters constituted according to section 17;

              “caveat” on a licence means a caveat against — 

                      (a)    the registration of dealings in relation to the licence; or

                      (b)    the registration of a person as a holder of the licence under section 340;

              “coastal waters” has the meaning given by section 16(1) and (2);

              “Commonwealth Act” means the Offshore Minerals Act 1994 of the Commonwealth;

              “Commonwealth Minister” means a Minister of State for the Commonwealth;

              “compliance inspection” has the meaning given by section 377;

              “confidential information” has the meaning given by section 27;

              “confidential sample” has the meaning given by section 28;

              “consent area” means the block or blocks specified in a special purpose consent;

              “dealing” in a licence means a transaction that creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with an interest in the licence and includes — 

                      (a)    a transfer of the licence; and

                      (b)    a transfer of a share in the licence,

                     but does not include a document that comes within section 337(1) other than a document by which a block or a licence is surrendered;

              “discrete area” has the meaning given by section 21;

              “document file” means a document file kept for the purposes of Part 3.1;

              “exploration” has the meaning given by section 23;

              “holder of a licence” has the meaning given by section 25(1);

              “hydrocarbon” means a hydrocarbon whether in a gaseous, liquid or solid state;

              “inspector” means an inspector appointed under section 421;

              “interest”, in relation to a licence, includes — 

                      (a)    an equitable interest in the licence; and

                      (b)    a security interest in the licence;

              “licence” means — 

                      (a)    an exploration licence; or

                      (b)    a retention licence; or

                      (c)    a mining licence; or

                      (d)    a works licence;

              “licence area” means the block or blocks covered by a licence;

              “licence holder” has the meaning given by section 25(1);

              “mineral” has the meaning given by section 22;

              “offshore exploration or mining activities” means — 

                      (a)    the exploration for minerals in coastal waters; or

                      (b)    the recovery of minerals from coastal waters; or

                      (c)    activities carried out in coastal waters under a works licence;

              “offshore mining register” means a register kept for the purposes of Part 3.1;

              “petroleum” means — 

                      (a)    a hydrocarbon or a mixture of hydrocarbons; or

                      (b)    a mixture of one or more hydrocarbons and one or more of the following — 

                                   (i)    hydrogen sulphide;

                                  (ii)    nitrogen;

                                 (iii)    helium;

                                 (iv)    carbon dioxide;

              “primary payment period” for the provisional grant or provisional renewal of a licence means the period of 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given a written notice — 

                      (a)    in the case of the grant of an exploration licence, under section 66; and

                      (b)    in the case of the renewal of an exploration licence, under section 110; and

                      (c)    in the case of the grant of a retention licence, under section 147; and

                      (d)    in the case of the renewal of a retention licence, under section 169; and

                      (e)    in the case of the grant of a mining licence, under section 210; and

                       (f)    in the case of the renewal of a mining licence, under section 246; and

                      (g)    in the case of the grant of a works licence, under section 279; and

                      (h)    in the case of the renewal of a works licence, under section 296;

              “provisional holder” means a person who has been provisionally granted a licence;

              “recovery” has the meaning given by section 24;

              “registered” means registered in an offshore mining register;

              “Registration Fees Act” means the Offshore Minerals (Registration Fees) Act 2003;

              “reserved block” means a block that is declared to be reserved under section 18;

              “responsible Commonwealth Minister” means the Commonwealth Minister who is responsible for the administration of the Commonwealth Act;

              “sample” of the seabed or subsoil includes a core or cutting from the seabed or subsoil;

              “secondary payment period” for the provisional grant or provisional renewal of a licence means the period of 30 days after the day on which an extension of the primary payment period for the grant or renewal concerned ends;

              “share” in a licence has the meaning given by section 6(1), (2) and (3);

              “special purpose consent” means a consent granted under Part 2.6;

              “standard block” has the meaning given by section 19;

              “State Minister” means — 

                      (a)    a Minister of State for a State; or

                      (b)    a Minister of State for the Northern Territory;

              “successor licence” to a licence has the meaning given by section 8;

              “surrender day” for an exploration licence means — 

                      (a)    the day on which the initial term of the licence ends; or

                      (b)    a day on which the term of a renewal of the licence ends;

              “tender block” has the meaning given by section 20;

              “transfer”— 

                      (a)    when used in relation to a licence, has the meaning given by section 7(1); and

                      (b)    when used in relation to a share in a licence, has the meaning given by section 7(2) and (3);

              “vary” a licence condition includes revoke or suspend.

 

5A.        Relationship with Environmental Protection Act 1986

             This Act is to be read and construed subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1986, so that if a provision of this Act is inconsistent with a provision of that Act, the provision of this Act is, to the extent of the inconsistency, taken to be inoperative.

6.           Shares in a licence

     (1)    A person has a share in a licence if the person is the holder, or one of the holders, of the licence.

     (2)    If a holder is entitled to a particular percentage of the value of the rights conferred by a licence, that percentage is the holder’s share in the licence.

Note:     A sole holder has a 100% share in the licence.

     (3)    If — 

                 (a)    a person is a registered holder of a licence; and

                 (b)    the person is shown in an offshore mining register as being entitled to a specified percentage of the value of the rights conferred by the licence,

             the person’s share in the licence is taken to be the percentage specified in the register.

7.           Transfer of a licence

     (1)    For the purposes of this Act, a licence is transferred if — 

                 (a)    the licence has only one holder and the holder transfers the whole of the licensee’s interest in the licence to another person or other persons; or

 

                 (b)    the licence has 2 or more holders and the holders all transfer the whole of their interests in the licence to another person or other persons.

     (2)    For the purposes of this Act, a share in a licence is transferred if — 

                 (a)    the licence has only one holder and the holder transfers a part of the holder’s share in the licence to another person or other persons; or

                 (b)    the licence has 2 or more holders and — 

                              (i)    some, but not all, of the holders transfer the whole of their shares in the licence to another person; or

                             (ii)    some or all of the holders transfer a part of their shares in the licence to another person.

     (3)    The other person referred to in subsection (2)(b) may be an existing licence holder.

8.           Successor licences

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    a mining licence takes effect immediately after an exploration licence expires; and

                 (b)    the holder of the mining licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

             the mining licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence takes effect immediately after an exploration licence expires; and

                 (b)    the holder of the retention licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

             the retention licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence.

     (3)    If — 

                 (a)    a mining licence takes effect immediately after a retention licence expires; and

                 (b)    the retention licence took effect immediately after an exploration licence expired; and

                 (c)    the holder of the mining licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the retention licence immediately before it expired; and

                 (d)    the holder of the retention licence immediately after it took effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

             the mining licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence and the retention licence.

9.           Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

10.         Position on the Earth’s surface

     (1)    Where, for the purposes of this Act or a subordinate instrument, it is necessary to determine the position on the surface of the Earth of a point, line or area, that position is to be determined by reference to the prescribed Australian datum.

     (2)    In subsection (1) — 

              “subordinate instrument” means — 

                      (a)    the regulations; or

                      (b)    an instrument under this Act or the regulations.

     (3)    A datum may be prescribed for all or some of the purposes referred to in subsection (1), and different datums may be prescribed for different purposes.

     (4)    Regulations that prescribe a datum for a purpose referred to in subsection (1), or amend that datum or prescribe another datum to replace that datum, may make any transitional or savings provisions that are necessary or convenient to be made —

                 (a)    in relation to licences granted before the regulations take effect (including licences referred to in Schedule 2); or

                 (b)    in relation to applications for licences pending when the regulations take effect (including applications referred to in Schedule 2); or

                 (c)    for any other purpose.

     (5)    Regulations referred to in subsection (4) may modify or otherwise affect the operation of this Act.

11.         Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

12.         Power to vary and revoke instruments

     (1)    A provision of this Act that confers a power to do something in writing is also taken to confer the power to revoke or amend the written document by which that thing is done.

     (2)    The power to revoke or amend — 

                 (a)    must also be exercised in writing; and

                 (b)    is subject to the same procedural requirements as the original power; and

                 (c)    is subject to the same conditions as those that governed the exercise of the original power.

Division 2 — Basic concepts

13. – 15. Section numbers not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

16.         Coastal waters, and effect of change in baseline

     (1)    Subject to this section, the coastal waters of the State are so much of the area described in Schedule 1 as is constituted by the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea from the baseline.

     (2)    The coastal waters do not include any waters that are inside the baseline.

     (3)    If — 

                 (a)    a licence has been granted on the basis that an area is within coastal waters; and

                 (b)    there is a change to the baseline or, because new data is obtained or existing data is reconsidered, the location of the baseline is reassessed; and

                 (c)    as a result of the change to, or reassessment of the location of, the baseline, the area ceases to be within coastal waters,

             this Act applies as if the area were still within coastal waters.

     (4)    Subsection (3) continues to apply to the area only while the licence (and any successor licence) remains in force.

     (5)    If — 

                 (a)    a licence under the Commonwealth Act has been granted on the basis that an area is within the offshore area under the Commonwealth Act; and

                 (b)    there is a change to the baseline or, because new data is obtained or existing data is reconsidered, the location of the baseline is reassessed; and

                 (c)    as a result of the change to, or reassessment of the location of, the baseline, the area — 

                              (i)    ceases to be within the offshore area under the Commonwealth Act; and

                             (ii)    falls within coastal waters,

             this Act does not apply to the area.

     (6)    Subsection (5) continues to apply to the area only while the licence under the Commonwealth Act (and any successor licence within the meaning in that Act) remains in force.

     (7)    This Act has effect subject to section 9A of the Mining Act 1978.

     (8)    In this section — 

              baseline means the baseline adjacent to the coast of the State (including the coast of any island forming part of the State) as for the time being determined under section 7(1)(b) of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 of the Commonwealth.

Note 1:      Generally the baseline is the lowest astronomical tide along the coast but it also includes lines enclosing bays and indentations that are not bays and straight baselines that depart from the coast. See Australia’s territorial sea baseline published 1988 by the Australian Government Printing Service.


Note 2: The following diagram illustrates the coastal waters of the State — 

COASTAL WATERS OF THE STATE

Limits of the State

Australian territorial sea baseline (see Note 1 above)

 

12nm

3nm

Key: nm = nautical mile

= seabed, subsoil

= sea

Australian territorial sea

coastal waters

of the State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.         Blocks

             This is how a block is constituted in coastal waters — 

                 (a)    assume that there is laid over the coastal waters a grid constituted by — 

                              (i)    lines running along meridians drawn through each degree of longitude and the minutes between those degrees; and

                             (ii)    lines running along parallels drawn through each degree of latitude and the minutes between those degrees;

                 (b)    take a bounded space defined by the grid;

                 (c)    the seabed and subsoil within the coastal waters that is under that space is a block.

Note:        The following diagram shows how a block is constituted.

                  Each block is identified by giving the name of the plan in the 1:1 000 000 map series, an identifying number of the 5 minute primary block and a letter identifying the one minute block. The block in the diagram is 72 (e) on the Broome sheet.

GRATICULATION AND CONSTITUTION

OF A BLOCK

2 kms

(approx.)

16° 00’ S

2 kms

(approx.)

125° 59’ E

126° 00’ E

BLOCK

16° 01’ S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.         Reserved block

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may declare that a block in coastal waters is a reserved block.

Note 1:     A reserved block may be put up for tender by the Minister publishing in the Gazette a tender block licence notice (see sections 74 and 218).

Note 2:     Section 10(c) of the Interpretation Act 1984 allows a single declaration under this subsection to be made in respect of 2 or more blocks.

     (2)    A declaration under subsection (1) must not be made in relation to a block if — 

                 (a)    a licence over that block is in force; or

                 (b)    an application for a licence over that block has been made and has not been determined.

     (3)    A declaration under subsection (1) must be made by notice published in the Gazette.

19.         Standard block

             A standard block is a block that is not the subject of a declaration under section 18(1).

20.         Tender block

             A tender block is a block that is the subject of a tender block licence notice published by the Minister under section 74 or section 218.

21.         Discrete area

     (1)    A group of blocks forms a discrete area if the area formed by the blocks is continuous.

     (2)    Two blocks that are joined at one point only do not form a continuous area.

22.         Minerals

     (1)    A mineral is a naturally occurring substance or a naturally occurring mixture of substances.

Note:        This Act does not apply to petroleum (see section 35).

     (2)    Without limiting subsection (1), a mineral may be in the form of sand, gravel, clay, limestone, rock, evaporites, shale, oil‑shale or coal.

23.         Exploration

     (1)    For the purposes of this Act, exploration for minerals includes any activity that is directly related to the exploration for minerals.

     (2)    For the purposes of this Act, exploration does not include the exploration for minerals of the subsoil of coastal waters that is carried out by means of underground mining from land in the State if that exploration is carried out in accordance with the Mining Act 1978.

24.         Recovery

     (1)    For the purposes of this Act, recovery of minerals includes any activity that is directly related to the recovery of minerals.

     (2)    For the purposes of this Act, recovery does not include the recovery of minerals from the subsoil of coastal waters that is carried out by means of underground mining from land in the State if that exploration is carried out in accordance with the Mining Act 1978.

25.         Licence holder

     (1)    References in this Act to the holder of a licence or the licence holder are references to the person whose name is entered in the offshore mining register as the person who holds the licence.

Note 1:     This Act is based upon the grant and registration of licences.

Note 2:     If a licence is granted to a person, that person’s name is entered in the register (see section 333).

Note 3:     The entry in the register in relation to a licence will be varied if there is a change in the holder of the licence (see section 338(4)).

     (2)    A licence may be held by more than one person.

26.         Associates

     (1)    For the purposes of this Act, the following are the associates of a licence holder — 

                 (a)    associated contractors of the holder;

                 (b)    associated agents of the holder;

                 (c)    associated agents of associated contractors;

                 (d)    associated employees of the holder;

                 (e)    associated employees of associated contractors.

     (2)    A person is an associated contractor of the holder if — 

                 (a)    the person enters into an agreement with the holder for carrying out activities under the licence; or

                 (b)    the person enters into an agreement with a person who is an associated contractor under paragraph (a) or this paragraph for carrying out activities under the licence.

     (3)    A person is an associated agent of the holder if the person is the agent of, or acts on behalf of, the holder in relation to carrying out activities under the licence.

     (4)    A person is an associated agent of an associated contractor if the person is the agent of, or acts on behalf of, the associated contractor in relation to carrying out activities under the licence.

     (5)    A person is an associated employee of the holder if the person is employed by the holder and, in the course of that employment, carries out activities under the licence.

     (6)    A person is an associated employee of an associated contractor if the person is employed by the associated contractor and, in the course of that employment, carries out activities under the licence.

27.         Confidential information

     (1)    For the purposes of this Act, information is confidential information if — 

                 (a)    a licence holder has given it to the Minister; and

                 (b)    it is in a record, return, report or document; and

                 (c)    it relates to activities authorised by the licence; and

                 (d)    it relates to an area of the seabed or subsoil that is covered by the licence or a successor licence to the licence.

     (2)    However, if — 

                 (a)    a person is required to give the Minister a report in relation to particular blocks; and

                 (b)    the person gives the Minister a report that relates not only to those blocks but also to other blocks; and

                 (c)    the Minister is required to make the report available under section 376,

             the information that relates to those other blocks is not confidential information.

28.         Confidential sample

             For the purposes of this Act, a sample is a confidential sample if — 

                 (a)    a licence holder has given it to the Minister; and

                 (b)    it was recovered in the course of activities authorised by the licence; and

                 (c)    it was recovered from an area of the seabed or subsoil that is covered by the licence or a successor licence to the licence.

Part 1.3Administration of the Commonwealth‑State offshore area

29.         Definitions

             In this Part — 

              “associated revenue Act” has the same meaning as in the Commonwealth Act;

              “Commonwealth‑State offshore area” means the Commonwealth‑State offshore area in respect of the State within the meaning of section 13 of the Commonwealth Act.

30.         Minister as member of Joint Authority, or as Designated Authority

     (1)    The Minister may perform any function that the Minister has under the Commonwealth Act or an associated revenue Act — 

                 (a)    as a member of the Joint Authority for the Commonwealth‑State offshore area provided for by section 32(2) of the Commonwealth Act; or

                 (b)    as the Designated Authority for that area provided for by section 29(2) of that Act.

     (2)    The Minister must perform any such function that the Minister is required to perform by the Commonwealth Act or an associated revenue Act.

31.         State officer acting under delegation

             A public service officer within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 to whom a delegation is made under section 419 of the Commonwealth Act may perform any function that the officer has under that delegation and must perform any such function that the officer is required to perform under the Commonwealth Act.

32. – 34. Section numbers not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

Part 1.4Application of this Act

35.         Act does not apply to exploration for or recovery of petroleum

             This Act does not apply to the exploration for or recovery of petroleum.

Note 1:     For “petroleum” see section 5.

Note 2:     Offshore petroleum exploration and mining are regulated by the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State.

36.         Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

37.         Act applies to all individuals and corporations

     (1)    This Act applies to all individuals, including — 

                 (a)    individuals who are not Australian citizens; and

                 (b)    individuals who are not resident in Western Australia.

     (2)    This Act applies to all corporations, including — 

                 (a)    corporations that are not taken to be registered under the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth in Western Australia; and

                 (b)    corporations that do not carry on business in Western Australia.

Chapter 2Regulation of offshore exploration and mining

Part 2.1General

38.         General prohibition on exploring and mining without appropriate authorisation

             A person must not — 

                 (a)    explore for minerals in coastal waters; or

                 (b)    recover minerals from coastal waters,

             unless the exploration or recovery is authorised by a licence or special purpose consent granted under this Act.

              Maximum penalty: $30 000.

Note 1:     A works licence may be necessary because “exploration” includes activities that are directly related to exploration (see section 23(1)) and “recovery” includes activities that are directly related to recovery (see section 24(1)).

Note 2:     Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

38A.      Exploration and mining in marine reserves and fish habitat protection areas

     (1)    Nothing in section 13A, 13B or 13C of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 — 

                 (a)    prevents a licence or special purpose consent from being applied for, granted, held or renewed; or

                 (b)    affects the validity or effect of a licence or special purpose consent,

             over an area in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area.

 

     (2)    Despite sections 206, 225 and 231, a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or marine park, or part of such a reserve or park, may be provisionally granted under those sections — 

                 (a)    only if both Houses of Parliament by resolution consent to the provisional grant; and

                 (b)    on such terms and conditions as are specified in the resolution.

     (3)    Despite — 

                 (a)    the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

                 (b)    any provision of this Act,

             offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a marine nature reserve or marine park only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

                 (c)    refuse consent; or

                 (d)    give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

     (4)    Before giving consent under subsection (3), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    consult, and obtain the concurrence of, the conservation Minister; and

                 (b)    consult and obtain the recommendations of the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

     (5)    Despite — 

                 (a)    the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

                 (b)    any provision of this Act,

             offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a marine management area only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

                 (c)    refuse consent; or

                 (d)    give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

     (6)    Before giving consent under subsection (5), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must consult and obtain the recommendations of the conservation Minister, the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

     (7)    Nothing in this Act authorises, or enables the Minister to authorise or consent to, the disturbance of — 

                 (a)    the seabed; or

                 (b)    subsoil below the seabed to a depth of 200 metres,

             in a marine nature reserve or a restricted area in respect of which a licence or special purpose consent is in force.

     (8)    Subsection (7) applies only if the marine nature reserve or restricted area was in existence when the licence or special purpose consent was granted.

     (9)    Despite — 

                 (a)    the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

                 (b)    any provision of this Act,

             offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a fish habitat protection area only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

                 (c)    refuse consent; or

                 (d)    give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

   (10)    Before giving consent under subsection (5), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must consult and

             obtain the recommendations of the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

   (11)    In this section — 

              “conservation Minister” means the Minister for the time being administering the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984;

              “fish habitat protection area” has the meaning given to it by the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

              “fisheries Minister” means the Minister for the time being administering the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

              “marine management area”, “marine nature reserve” and “marine park” have the meanings given to them by the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984;

              “marine Minister” means the Minister for the time being administering the Marine and Harbours Act 1981;

              “restricted area” means any area of a marine park which is classified by notice under section 62 of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 as — 

                      (a)    a sanctuary area; or

                      (b)    a recreation area; or

                      (c)    a special purpose area which, or that part of such an area which, the conservation Minister has declared in the classification notice to be an area where disturbance of the seabed or subsoil would be incompatible with a conservation purpose specified in the classification notice.

 

38B.      Consultation with other Ministers

             Before granting a licence or special purpose consent, the Minister must consult and obtain the recommendations of —

                 (a)    the Minister for the time being administering the Environmental Protection Act 1986; and

                 (b)    the Minister for the time being administering the Fish Resources Management Act 1994; and

                 (c)    the Minister for the time being administering the Land Administration Act 1997; and

                 (d)    the Minister for the time being administering the Marine and Harbours Act 1981; and

                 (e)    the Minister for the time being administering the Pearling Act 1990.

39.         Licences and consents available under this Act

             This Act provides for the grant of — 

                 (a)    exploration licences (see Part 2.2); and

                 (b)    retention licences (see Part 2.3); and

                 (c)    mining licences (see Part 2.4); and

                 (d)    works licences (see Part 2.5); and

                 (e)    special purpose consents (see Part 2.6).

Note 1:     An exploration licence is designed to cover the exploration phase of a project and authorises — 

·exploration; and

·the recovery of mineral samples.

Note 2:     A retention licence is designed to ensure the retention of rights pending the transition of a project from the exploration phase to the commercial mining phase and authorises — 

·exploration; and

·the recovery of minerals but not as part of a commercial mining operation.

 

Note 3:     A mining licence is designed to cover the commercial mining phase of a project and authorises — 

·exploration; and

·full commercial recovery.

Note 4:     A project might make use of any of the following 3 licence arrangements — 

·an exploration licence leading to a mining licence;

·an exploration licence leading to a retention licence and then a mining licence;

·a mining licence (without progressing through an exploration/retention licence stage).

Note 5:     A licence is granted over a particular area (constituted by blocks). The licence holder may need to carry out engineering or other activities outside the licence area. If so, the licence holder or someone else must obtain a works licence to carry out those activities.

Note 6:     If a person wants to carry out — 

·a scientific investigation; or

·a reconnaissance survey; or

·the collection of only small amounts of minerals,

                  in coastal waters, the person must obtain a special purpose consent under Part 2.6 to carry out the activity.

Note 7:     Even though a person has a licence or special purpose consent, the person must not interfere unnecessarily with navigation, native title, fishing, resource conservation or other activities in the area (see section 44).

40.         Steps involved in the grant of a fully effective licence

     (1)    The following 3 steps must occur before a licence comes into force — 

                 (a)    provisional grant of the licence;

                 (b)    proper acceptance of the grant;

                 (c)    registration of the grant.

Note 1:     See sections 88, 154, 232 and 286.

Note 2:     Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

     (2)    If a licence is provisionally granted to a person, the person must do the following to properly accept the grant — 

                 (a)    give the Minister a written acceptance;

                 (b)    lodge any security that the Minister has required;

                 (c)    pay the fee that is payable under section 425.

Note:        See sections 70, 84, 151, 214, 228 and 283.

     (3)    The following 3 steps must occur before a renewal of a licence comes into force — 

                 (a)    provisional renewal of the licence;

                 (b)    proper acceptance of the renewal;

                 (c)    registration of the renewal.

Note:        See sections 89, 155, 233 and 287.

     (4)    If a licence is provisionally renewed, the holder must do the following to properly accept the renewal — 

                 (a)    give the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal;

                 (b)    lodge any security that the Minister has required;

                 (c)    pay the fee that is payable under section 425.

Note:        See sections 114, 173, 250 and 300.

41.         Approval of form and manner of applications etc.

     (1)    The Minister may approve the form and the manner in which the following are to be made — 

                 (a)    applications for licences over blocks in coastal waters;

                 (b)    applications for the renewal of licences over blocks in coastal waters.

     (2)    An approval under subsection (1) is to be made in writing.

42.         Rights to minerals recovered

     (1)    Any minerals recovered by a licence holder or special purpose consent holder from a block covered by the licence or consent become the property of the holder when they are recovered.

     (2)    If the licence or consent authorises the exploration for and the recovery of minerals only of a particular kind, subsection (1) only applies to the recovery of minerals of that kind.

     (3)    Subsection (1) does not apply to the recovery of minerals by a works licence holder.

     (4)    The minerals recovered are not subject to the rights of any other person.

     (5)    Subsection (4) does not apply to rights that the licence or consent holder transfers to the other person.

43.         Effect of grant of licence or special purpose consent on native title

     (1)    The grant of a licence or special purpose consent does not extinguish native title in the licence or consent area.

     (2)    While a licence or special purpose consent is in force over an area, native title in the area is subject to the rights conferred by the licence or consent.

     (3)    If compensation is payable to native title holders for or in respect of the grant of a licence or special purpose consent, the person liable to pay the compensation is — 

                 (a)    if an amount is to be paid and held in trust, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the licence or consent at the time the amount is required to be paid; or

                 (b)    otherwise, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the licence or consent at the time a determination of compensation is made.

     (4)    If, at the relevant time, there is no holder of the licence or consent because the licence or consent has been surrendered or forfeited or has expired, a reference in subsection (3) to the holder of the licence or consent is a reference to the holder of the licence or consent immediately before its surrender, forfeiture or expiry.

     (5)    In subsection (3) — 

              “grant” includes renewal.

     (6)    Expressions relating to native title have the same meanings in this section and section 44 as they have in the Native Title Act 1993 of the Commonwealth.

44.         Licence etc. does not authorise unnecessary interference with other activities in the licence area

     (1)    A person who carries out activities in coastal waters under a licence or special purpose consent granted under this Act must not do so in a way that interferes with — 

                 (a)    navigation; or

                 (b)    the exercise of native title rights and interests; or

                 (c)    fishing, pearling or aquaculture; or

                 (d)    the conservation of the resources of the sea or the seabed; or

                 (e)    any activities that someone else is lawfully carrying out,

             to a greater extent than is necessary for — 

                  (f)    the reasonable exercise of the person’s rights under the licence or consent; or

                 (g)    the performance of the person’s duties under the licence or consent.

              Maximum penalty: $10 000.

Note:        The person referred to here might be the licence holder or consent holder or might be an associated person.

     (2)    In subsection (1)(1)(c) —

              “aquaculture” and “fishing” have the same meanings as they have in the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

              “pearling” has the same meaning as it has in the Pearling Act 1990.

Part 2.2Exploration licences

Division 1 — General

45.         Exploration licences

     (1)    This Part provides for the grant of exploration licences over blocks in coastal waters.

     (2)    An exploration licence may be granted over a standard block (see Division 2) or over a tender block (see Division 3).

Note:        A tender block is a block that has been declared available for tender. A standard block is any block that is not a reserved block (see sections 19 and 20).

46.         Activities authorised by an exploration licence

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), an exploration licence holder may — 

                 (a)    explore for minerals in the licence area; and

                 (b)    take samples of minerals in the licence area.

Note 1:     Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

Note 2:     Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

     (2)    If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to explore for, or to take samples of, minerals not covered by the licence.

     (3)    A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

     (4)    For the purposes of subsection (2), the holder does not take samples of an excluded mineral if, in the course of exploring for, or taking samples of, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

47.         Minister may cancel or not renew exploration licence without compensation

             No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of an exploration licence by the Minister.

Note 1:     The Minister may cancel the licence under section 130.

Note 2:     The Minister may refuse under section 108 to renew the licence.

48.         Licence rights may be suspended

     (1)    The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by an exploration licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

     (2)    The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

     (3)    The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

     (4)    A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

     (5)    If the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends rights conferred by an exploration licence; or

                 (b)    ends a suspension,

             the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of the suspension.

Note:        See section 122 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

     (6)    A suspension takes effect when — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

                 (b)    the suspension has been registered under section 337.

49.         Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 48; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

             the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 48; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

                 (d)    the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

             the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

     (3)    In this section — 

              “acquisition of property” has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over standard blocks

50.         Application for exploration licence over standard block

     (1)    A person may apply to the Minister for an exploration licence over a standard block if — 

                 (a)    the block is vacant; and

                 (b)    the block is not excluded.

Note:        For “excluded blocks” see section 51.

     (2)    A standard block is vacant if no exploration, retention or mining licence is in force over the block.

     (3)    A person may apply for an exploration licence over a group of standard blocks if — 

                 (a)    the group forms a discrete area; and

                 (b)    there are not more than 500 blocks in the group.

Note:        The Minister may, in certain circumstances, allow an application to be made for an exploration licence covering up to 3 discrete areas (see section 53).

51.         Excluded blocks

     (1)    A block is excluded if — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence over the block has been surrendered or cancelled; and

                 (b)    a period of 30 days after the day on which the licence was surrendered or cancelled has not ended.

     (2)    A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

                 (a)    the applicant previously applied for an exploration licence over the block; and

                 (b)    the application was refused; and

                 (c)    a period of 6 months after the day on which the previous application was refused has not ended.

     (3)    A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

                 (a)    the applicant was previously the holder of an exploration, retention or mining licence over the block; and

                 (b)    that previous licence was surrendered or cancelled; and

                 (c)    a period of 6 months after the day on which the previous licence was surrendered or cancelled has not ended.

     (4)    A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

                 (a)    the applicant was previously the holder of an exploration, retention or mining licence over the block; and

                 (b)    the holder was — 

                              (i)    required by the licence conditions; or

                             (ii)    given a direction under section 387 or 392,

                         to provide the Minister with information; and

                 (c)    the holder provided the information; and

                 (d)    the holder surrendered the licence; and

                 (e)    a period of 6 months from the day on which the holder provided the information has not ended.

52.         Minister may determine that excluded block is available

     (1)    A person who wants to apply for an exploration licence over a block that is excluded may apply to the Minister for a determination under subsection (2).

     (2)    The Minister may determine that the person may apply for the licence over the block despite section 51.

     (3)    The determination is to be made in writing.

53.         Minister may allow application for more than one discrete area

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    a person (the “first applicant”) applies for an exploration licence; and

                 (b)    another person (the “second applicant”) subsequently applies for an exploration licence for a group of blocks that includes a block covered by the application made by the first applicant; and

                 (c)    an exploration licence is then granted to the first applicant; and

                 (d)    as a result of the grant, the blocks for which the second applicant can be granted an exploration licence no longer form a discrete area,

             the second applicant may apply to the Minister for approval for the application to proceed even though the blocks it covers no longer form a discrete area.

Note:        See also section 59.

     (2)    Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may approve the application proceeding even though the blocks that the application covers do not form a discrete area.

     (3)    The Minister may give an approval under subsection (2) only if the blocks covered by the application form not more than 3 discrete areas.

54.         How to apply

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

                 (d)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the block or blocks covered by the application; and

                             (ii)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities; and

                            (iii)    the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

                            (iv)    the technical advice available to the applicant; and

                             (v)    the financial resources available to the applicant; and

                            (vi)    if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

                         and

                 (e)    be accompanied by maps that — 

                              (i)    relate to the blocks; and

                             (ii)    comply with the regulations;

                         and

                  (f)    specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note 1:     For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

Note 2:     Paragraph (c): the Minister may, after consulting the applicant, vary the blocks applied for (see section 59).

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

55.         Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application

             If — 

                 (a)    a person applies for a licence over a group of standard blocks; and

                 (b)    because of section 18, 50 or 51 an exploration licence cannot be granted over one or more of the blocks in the group,

             the Minister may still deal with the application to the extent to which the application covers blocks for which an exploration licence can be granted.

Note:        An exploration licence cannot be granted over a block that is not vacant or is excluded (see sections 50 and 51) or over a reserved block (see section 18).

56.         Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

57.         Application must be advertised

     (1)    The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

     (2)    The advertisement must contain — 

                 (a)    the applicant’s name and address; and

                 (b)    a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

                 (c)    the address of the Minister; and

                 (d)    a statement that — 

                              (i)    advises that the applicant has applied for an exploration licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

                             (ii)    invites comment from the public on the application; and

                            (iii)    requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

     (3)    The advertisement must be published — 

                 (a)    as soon as possible after the applicant makes the application; and

                 (b)    in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant makes the application.

     (4)    If — 

                 (a)    the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

                 (b)    the Minister extends the period,

             the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

58.         How multiple applications are dealt with

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), if a block is covered by 2 or more applications for an exploration or mining licence, the Minister must deal with the applications in the order in which they are made.

Note:        See also section 203.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    the applications are lodged within a particular time of each other; and

                 (b)    the time is less than the time prescribed by the regulations,

             the Minister must determine the order in which the applications are to be dealt with by drawing lots in the way prescribed by the regulations.

59.         Discussions about blocks applied for

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant to discuss with the Minister the blocks covered by the application.

     (2)    The request under subsection (1) must be — 

                 (a)    made in writing; and

                 (b)    given to the applicant.

     (3)    If, after discussions, the Minister and the applicant agree on the blocks to be covered by the application, the applicant is taken to have applied for an exploration licence over the blocks agreed on.

     (4)    The Minister must give the applicant written confirmation of the agreement as soon as possible after the agreement is reached.

     (5)    The Minister may include in the written confirmation a direction that the applicant must advertise the revised application under section 60.

     (6)    If the Minister and the applicant do not agree on the blocks to be covered by the application — 

                 (a)    the Minister may make a written determination specifying the blocks to be covered by the application; and

                 (b)    the applicant is taken to have applied for an exploration licence over the blocks specified in the determination.

     (7)    The Minister may include in the written determination a direction that the applicant must advertise the revised application under section 60.

     (8)    If the Minister makes a determination under subsection (6), the Minister must give a copy of the determination to the applicant as soon as possible after the determination is made.

60.         Advertising revised application

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    the application has been revised under section 59; and

                 (b)    the applicant has been given a direction under section 59(5) or (7),

             the applicant must advertise the revised application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

     (2)    The advertisement must contain — 

                 (a)    the applicant’s name and address; and

                 (b)    a map and description of the blocks covered by the revised application that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

                 (c)    the address of the Minister; and

                 (d)    a statement that — 

                              (i)    advises that the applicant has applied for an exploration licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

                             (ii)    invites comment from the public on the application; and

                            (iii)    requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

     (3)    The advertisement must be published — 

                 (a)    if the Minister and the applicant agree on the blocks applied for under section 59(3), as soon as possible after the applicant is given written confirmation of the agreement under section 59(4); or

                 (b)    if the Minister makes a determination of the blocks applied for under section 59(6), as soon as possible after the applicant is given a copy of the determination under section 59(8),

             but in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the applicant is given the confirmation or copy.

     (4)    If — 

                 (a)    the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

                 (b)    the Minister extends the period,

             the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

61.         Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

62.         Section number not used

                 See note 2 to section 3(1).

63.         Minister may provisionally grant licence

             If the applicant does what is required by sections 54 to 61, the Minister may — 

                 (a)    provisionally grant an exploration licence to the applicant; or

                 (b)    refuse the application.

Note:        Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 70 for “proper acceptance”).

64.         Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

65.         Matters to be specified in the licence

             The licence must specify — 

                 (a)    the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the term of the licence; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

Note:        For the term of a licence see section 88.

66.         Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of a decision under section 63.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally grants an exploration licence — 

                 (a)    the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

                 (b)    the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

                              (i)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

                             (ii)    notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                                            (I)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                                          (II)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                                         (III)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

67.         Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 66.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

68.         Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    is notified of a security requirement; and

                 (b)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 66.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

69.         Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the provisional holder makes a request under section 67 or 68, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 66.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

70.         Acceptance of grant of exploration licence for standard block

     (1)    The provisional grant of the exploration licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 69, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:        Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

71.         Conditions applicable to licence on grant

             If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 70, it is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 66; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 67, those conditions as amended.

72.         Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence

             If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 70, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over tender block

73.         Matters to be determined before applications for exploration licence over tender blocks invited

             If the Minister proposes to invite applications for the grant of an exploration licence over reserved blocks, the Minister must, before inviting the applications, determine — 

                 (a)    the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

                 (b)    the amount of security that will be required for the licence under section 399; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

74.         Minister may invite applications for exploration licence over tender blocks

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may invite applications for the grant of an exploration licence over reserved blocks.

     (2)    Applications may be invited for a licence covering a group of reserved blocks only if the group forms a discrete area.

     (3)    The Minister is to invite applications by publishing a tender block licence notice for the licence in the Gazette.

75.         Tender block licence notice — exploration licence

     (1)    A tender block licence notice for an exploration licence must —

                 (a)    specify the blocks to be covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    specify the period within which applications may be made; and

                 (c)    specify the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

                 (d)    specify the amount of security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

                 (e)    include a statement to the effect that information about — 

                              (i)    the security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

                             (ii)    the licence conditions,

                         may be obtained from the Minister.

     (2)    Without limiting paragraph (c) of subsection (1), the Minister may for the purposes of that paragraph specify that the tender will be determined on the basis of either or both of the following — 

                 (a)    the nature and extent of the exploration activity proposed to be carried out;

                 (b)    the amount of money offered for the licence.

     (3)    The tender block licence notice may specify not more than 500 blocks for the exploration licence.

76.         Application for exploration licence over tender blocks

             If a tender block licence notice has been published inviting applications for an exploration licence, a person may apply to the Minister for the licence.

77.         How to apply

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    be made before the end of the period specified in the tender block licence notice; and

                 (d)    address the criteria specified under section 75(1)(c); and

                 (e)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

                             (ii)    the technical advice available to the applicant; and

                            (iii)    the financial resources available to the applicant; and

                            (iv)    if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

                         and

                  (f)    specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

78.         Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

79.         Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

80.         Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

81.         Minister may provisionally grant licence

     (1)    The Minister may provisionally grant an exploration licence to an applicant who has done what is required by sections 77 to 79.

     (2)    When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 74.

     (3)    If the Minister refuses to grant a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the applicant written notice of the refusal.

82.         Section number not used

                 See note 2 to section 3(1).

83.         Successful applicant must be notified

     (1)    If the Minister provisionally grants an exploration licence under section 81 or 87, the Minister must give the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    the licence; and

                 (b)    written notice that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given — 

                              (i)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                             (ii)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                            (iii)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

                            (iv)    if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 77(1)(d).

     (2)    The licence must specify — 

                 (a)    the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the term of the licence; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

Note:        For the term of a licence see section 88.

84.         Acceptance of grant of exploration licence over tender blocks

             The provisional grant of an exploration licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 83, the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

                 (d)    if the tender is determined on the basis of the amount of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 77(1)(d).

Note:        Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

85.         Conditions applicable to licence on grant

             If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted, the licence is subject to the conditions determined under section 73.

86.         Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence

             If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 84, the provisional grant lapses.

87.         Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses

     (1)    If the provisional grant of the licence lapses under section 86, the Minister may provisionally grant the licence to another of the applicants for the licence.

     (2)    When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 74.

Division 4 — Duration of exploration licence

88.         Initial term of exploration licence

     (1)    An exploration licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

     (2)    The initial term of an exploration licence ends — 

                 (a)    4 years after the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, 4 years after that specified day.

Note:        The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 127).

89.         Term of renewal of exploration licence

     (1)    A renewal of an exploration licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the renewal is registered; or

                 (b)    the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

             whichever is the later.

Note:        See Division 6 for renewal.

     (2)    The term of a renewal of a licence ends 2 years after the day on which the previous term of the licence expires.

Note:        The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 127).

     (3)    In working out the previous term of the licence, section 90 is to be disregarded.

     (4)    An exploration licence is not to be renewed more than 3 times.

90.         Effect of suspension of rights on term of exploration licence

     (1)    If the Minister suspends rights conferred by an exploration licence for a specified period under section 48, the Minister may extend the term of the licence.

     (2)    An extension of a licence term under subsection (1) — 

                 (a)    must not be for a period that is longer than the period for which the licence rights were suspended; and

                 (b)    must be in writing.

     (3)    If the Minister extends the term of a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder — 

                 (a)    that the licence has been extended; and

                 (b)    of the period of the extension.

91.         Effect of application for renewal on term of exploration licence

             If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 101; and

                 (b)    the current term of the licence expires; and

                 (c)    a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

             the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

                 (d)    a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

                 (e)    a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

                  (f)    the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

92.         Effect of application for retention licence or mining licence on term of exploration licence

             If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder applies for — 

                              (i)    a retention licence (see section 137); or

                             (ii)    a mining licence (see section 198),

                         over the licence area, or part of the licence area, of the exploration licence; and

                 (b)    the current term of the exploration licence expires; and

                 (c)    a grant of the retention licence or mining licence does not take effect before the current term of the exploration licence expires,

             the exploration licence remains in force until — 

                 (d)    the grant of the retention licence or mining licence takes effect; or

                 (e)    a provisional grant of the retention licence or mining licence lapses; or

                  (f)    the application for the retention licence or mining licence is withdrawn or refused.

93.         Effect of application for extension on term of licence

             If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder applies for an extension of the term of the licence under section 94 or 96; and

                 (b)    the holder has also applied to renew the licence under section 101; and

                 (c)    the extension application is not decided before the licence is due to expire,

             then — 

                 (d)    the renewal application lapses; and

                 (e)    the licence remains in force until — 

                              (i)    if the Minister extends the term of the licence under section 95 or 97 for a specified period, 30 days after the day on which that period ends; or

                             (ii)    if the Minister refuses to extend the term of the licence under section 95 or 97, 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice of the refusal under section 98.

94.         Extension of licence — activities disrupted

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence authorises the licence holder to carry out an activity; and

                 (b)    circumstances beyond the control of the holder prevent the holder from carrying out the activity,

             the holder may apply to the Minister for an extension of the term of the licence.

     (2)    The application must be made — 

                 (a)    within 30 days after the day on which the holder first became aware of the circumstances; and

                 (b)    before the licence expires.

95.         Grant of licence extension — activities disrupted

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), if an exploration licence holder applies for an extension under section 94, the Minister — 

                 (a)    must grant an extension of the term of the licence if the Minister is satisfied that — 

                              (i)    the holder is or has been unable to carry out the activities authorised by the licence; and

                             (ii)    the holder is or has been unable to do so because of circumstances beyond the holder’s control; and

                            (iii)    no excluded time is included in the period of inability for which an extension is sought;

                         and

                 (b)    must refuse the application for extension if the Minister is not satisfied of the matters referred to in paragraph (a).

     (2)    The period for which the extension is granted must not be longer than the disruption period for the licence less any excluded time for the licence.

     (3)    The extension may be granted subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (4)    In this section — 

              “disruption period” for a licence means the period during which the licence holder is unable to carry out activities authorised by the licence because of circumstances beyond the holder’s control;

              “excluded time” for a licence means any period during which the licence was in force because of section 90, 91, 92 or 93.

Note:        Under section 90, if the Minister has under section 48 suspended rights under a licence for a period, the Minister may extend the term of the licence for an equivalent period. Under section 91, the term of a licence is automatically extended if there is an application for the renewal of a licence undecided when the licence is due to expire. Under section 92, the term of a licence is automatically extended if the holder applies for a retention or mining licence over the licence area. Under section 93, the term of a licence is automatically extended if there is an application for an extension of the licence undecided when the licence is due to expire.

96.         Extension of licence — other circumstances

     (1)    An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister for an extension of the term of the licence if, under section 121, the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends a licence condition; or

                 (b)    exempts the holder from complying with a licence condition.

     (2)    The application must be made not later than 30 days before the licence expires.

97.         Grant of licence extension — other circumstances

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), if an exploration licence holder applies for an extension under section 96, the Minister — 

                 (a)    may grant an extension of the term of the licence; or

                 (b)    may refuse to grant an extension of the term of the licence.

     (2)    The extension must not be for a period that is longer than the period of the suspension or exemption.

     (3)    The extension may be granted subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

98.         Notification of decision

     (1)    If the Minister grants an extension of the term of the exploration licence under section 95 or 97, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of — 

                 (a)    the grant of extension; and

                 (b)    the period of the extension; and

                 (c)    if the extension is subject to conditions, the conditions.

     (2)    If the Minister refuses an application for a licence extension, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of — 

                 (a)    the refusal; and

                 (b)    the reasons for the refusal.

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of exploration licence area

99.         Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

     (1)    An exploration licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:        See section 127 for the surrender of the whole licence.

     (2)    A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

                 (a)    be made in writing; and

                 (b)    identify the blocks surrendered; and

                 (c)    be given to the Minister.

Note:        The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

100.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if up to 3 discrete areas remain

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder wants to surrender some of the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the blocks remaining in the licence area after the proposed surrender would form not more than 3 discrete areas,

             the holder may apply to the Minister for approval of the proposed surrender.

     (2)    The application — 

                 (a)    must be in writing; and

                 (b)    must include a surrender proposal that identifies the blocks in the licence area that the holder proposes to surrender; and

                 (c)    may include any other information that the holder thinks is relevant.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees with the surrender proposal, the Minister may approve the surrender of the blocks specified in the proposal by giving the holder written notice of the approval.

Note:         The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

     (4)    If the Minister does not agree with the surrender proposal, the Minister may ask the holder to discuss the proposal.

     (5)    If the Minister and the holder agree, after discussions, on the blocks to be surrendered the Minister may approve the surrender of the blocks agreed on by giving the holder written confirmation of the agreement.

Note:         The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

     (6)    If, after discussions, the Minister and the holder do not agree on the surrender proposal, no blocks are surrendered.

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of exploration licence

101.       Application for renewal of exploration licence

             An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note 1:      Part of the licence area must be surrendered on each renewal (see section 104).

Note 2:      At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 118).

102.       When application to be made

     (1)    Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the application must be made at least 30 days before the day on which the licence is to expire.

Note:         If an application for extension of a licence is made, the expiry of the licence is postponed (see section 93). For expiry of a licence see section 126.

     (2)    The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 30 days before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

                 (a)    the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

                 (b)    the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

     (3)    If a licence remains in force because of section 93(e)(ii), the application may be made at any time before the licence ceases to be in force.

103.       How to apply for renewal

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

                             (ii)    the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

                            (iii)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

                            (iv)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities during the term applied for;

                         and

                 (d)    specify the blocks that the applicant nominates for surrender in accordance with section 104.

Note:         For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

104.       Mandatory reduction of licence area on renewal of exploration licence

     (1)    This section deals with the mandatory reduction of the licence area covered by an exploration licence when the licence is renewed.

     (2)    Subject to subsection (4)(b), on each surrender day of an exploration licence, the licence holder must surrender — 

                 (a)    50% of the number of blocks in the licence area; or

                 (b)    if 50% of that number of the blocks is a whole number and a fraction, the next higher whole number of the blocks.

     (3)     Subject to subsection (4)(a), the blocks that remain in the licence area after a surrender under subsection (2) must form a discrete area.

     (4)    The Minister may — 

                 (a)    give permission for the surrender of blocks in a licence area if the licence area remaining after the proposed surrender would consist of not more than 3 discrete areas; or

                 (b)    give permission for a licence area to be reduced by less than 50% if the Minister considers that there are special circumstances present in relation to the renewal application.

105.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information about the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

106.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

107.       Section number not used

                 See note 2 to section 3(1).

108.       Provisional renewal of an exploration licence

     (1)    The Minister must provisionally renew an exploration licence if the applicant — 

                 (a)    does what is required by sections 101 to 106; and

                 (b)    has complied with — 

                              (i)    this Act; and

                             (ii)    the regulations; and

                            (iii)    the licence conditions.

Note 1:      Under section 89, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 114 for “proper acceptance”).

Note 2:      Under section 118, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

     (2)    If subsection (1) does not require the Minister to provisionally renew the licence, the Minister may — 

                 (a)    provisionally renew the licence; or

                 (b)    refuse to renew the licence.

109.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

110.       Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 108.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally renews the exploration licence under section 108, the notice must contain the following information — 

                 (a)    notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

                 (b)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

                 (c)    notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                              (i)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                             (ii)    lodges any security required by the Minister under section 399; and

                            (iii)    pays the fees that must be paid under section 425.

Note:         Section 118 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

111.       Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 108; and

                 (b)    is notified of the licence conditions; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with a condition,

             the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence conditions and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

112.       Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 108; and

                 (b)    is notified of a security requirement; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

113.       Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the licence holder makes a request under section 111 or 112, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

114.       Acceptance of renewal of exploration licence

     (1)    The provisional renewal of an exploration licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the licence holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 113, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:         Under section 89, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

115.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

             If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 114, the renewed licence is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 110; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 111, those conditions as amended.

116.       Lapse of provisional renewal of exploration licence

             If the provisional renewal of an exploration licence is not properly accepted under section 114, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 7 — Obligations associated with exploration licence

117.       General

     (1)    The sources of obligations associated with an exploration licence are — 

                 (a)    the licence conditions; and

                 (b)    obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

                 (c)    obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:         For paragraph (a) see sections 118 to 120. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 123 to 125, 372 and 391(1).

     (2)    If an exploration licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

118.       Conditions of exploration licence

     (1)    The Minister may grant or renew an exploration licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (2)    If the Minister grants or renews an exploration licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

     (3)    Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of an exploration licence — 

                 (a)    a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

                 (b)    a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain work in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

                 (c)    a condition requiring the holder to spend a specified amount of money in carrying out the work referred to in paragraph (b);

                 (d)    a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

                 (e)    a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

                  (f)    a condition requiring the holder to give the Minister, on request, specified information;

                 (g)    a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

                              (i)    protecting wildlife; or

                             (ii)    minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

                 (h)    a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

                  (i)    a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

     (4)    A condition under subsection (3)(d) must specify — 

                 (a)    the amount of the security required; and

                 (b)    the kind of security required; and

                 (c)    the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

     (5)    Without limiting paragraph (d) of subsection (3), a condition under that paragraph may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

                 (a)    the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

                 (b)    the terms of the guarantee.

119.       No conditions requiring payment of money

             Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

120.       Variation of conditions

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition; or

                 (b)    an exploration licence continues in force because of section 93; or

                 (c)    an extension of the term of an exploration licence is granted under section 95; or

                 (d)    part of the licence area of an exploration licence is surrendered under section 99 or 100,

             the Minister may vary a licence condition.

     (2)    If the Minister gives — 

                 (a)    a direction under section 387; or

                 (b)    an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

             to an exploration licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

     (3)    The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (4)    If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

                 (a)    informs the holder of the variation; and

                 (b)    specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

                 (c)    specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

121.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

                              (i)    suspend a licence condition; or

                             (ii)    exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition;

                         or

                 (b)    an exploration licence continues in force because of section 93; or

                 (c)    an extension of the term of an exploration licence is granted under section 95; or

                 (d)    part of the licence area of an exploration licence is surrendered under section 99 or 100,

             the Minister may — 

                 (e)    suspend a licence condition; or

                  (f)    exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

     (2)    If the Minister gives — 

                 (a)    a direction under section 387; or

                 (b)    an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

             to an exploration licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

     (3)    The Minister may — 

                 (a)    suspend a licence condition; or

                 (b)    exempt the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

             subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (4)    If the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends a licence condition; or

                 (b)    exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

             the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

                 (c)    informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

                 (d)    specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

                 (e)    specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

Note:         A suspension or exemption of a condition cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 337).

122.       Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended

             If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends particular rights conferred by an exploration licence under section 48; and

                 (b)    a licence condition is affected by the suspension,

             the licence condition is suspended for the period of the suspension of the rights.

123.       Work practices

             A person who is an exploration licence holder or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

                 (a)    to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

                 (b)    to maintain in good repair all structures and equipment erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

                 (c)    to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

                              (i)    belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

                             (ii)    is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

              Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note:         The safety of offshore exploration activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraph (a) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

124.       Licence holder must keep specified records etc.

             An exploration licence holder must — 

                 (a)    keep whatever records and samples; and

                 (b)    give whatever records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

                 (c)    make whatever returns,

             are necessary to comply with — 

                 (d)    the regulations; or

                 (e)    the licence conditions; or

                  (f)    a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note:         Under sections 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and samples, to give records and samples to the Minister, and to make returns.

              Maximum penalty: $10 000.

125.       Licence holder must assist inspectors

             An exploration licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note:         See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

              Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 8 — Expiry of exploration licence

126.       General

     (1)    An exploration licence expires if — 

                 (a)    the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

                 (b)    the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

                 (c)    a retention licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the exploration licence; or

                 (d)    a mining licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the exploration licence; or

                 (e)    the licence is cancelled.

Note:         For paragraph (a) see Division 6. For paragraph (b) see section 127. For paragraph (c) see section 128. For paragraph (d) see section 129. For paragraph (e) see section 130.

     (2)    In subsection (1)(a) the reference to the term of the licence includes any period during which the licence is in force under section 90, 91, 92 or 93.

127.       Voluntary surrender of exploration licence

             An exploration licence holder may surrender the licence.

Note 1:      See Division 5 for voluntary surrender of part of a licence area.

Note 2:      The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

128.       Automatic expiry of exploration licence when retention licence takes effect

             If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence is in force; and

                 (b)    a retention licence over all or some of the blocks in the exploration licence area comes into force under section 154,

             the exploration licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the retention licence.

129.       Automatic expiry of exploration licence when mining licence takes effect

             If — 

                 (a)    an exploration licence is in force; and

                 (b)    a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the exploration licence area comes into force under section 232,

             the exploration licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the mining licence.

130.       Cancellation of exploration licence

     (1)    Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel an exploration licence if the licence holder — 

                 (a)    breaches a licence condition; or

                 (b)    contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

                 (c)    breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

     (2)    If the Minister proposes to cancel a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

     (3)    The notice must — 

                 (a)    specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

                 (b)    invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

                 (c)    specify the day by which submissions may be given to the Minister; and

                 (d)    specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

     (4)    The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

     (5)    The Minister may cancel the licence only if — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

                 (b)    the Minister has considered — 

                              (i)    any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

                             (ii)    any steps taken by the holder to remedy the breach or contravention that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

                         and

                 (c)    the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

131.       Obligations of former exploration licence holders and former associates

     (1)    Subject to subsection (4), if — 

                 (a)    a person was — 

                              (i)    an exploration licence holder; or

                             (ii)    an associate of an exploration licence holder;

                         and

                 (b)    the licence — 

                              (i)    expires; or

                             (ii)    is cancelled; or

                            (iii)    is surrendered;

                         and

                 (c)    an obligation associated with the licence arising out of — 

                              (i)    a licence condition; or

                             (ii)    a direction given under section 387; or

                            (iii)    this Act or the regulations,

                         has not been discharged; and

                 (d)    the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the licence holder or an associate,

             the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not continue an obligation to carry out exploration or recovery activities.

     (3)    Subsection (1) continues an obligation that a person had to carry out exploration or recovery activities in a particular manner if the person carries them out.

     (4)    The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

                 (a)    any particular obligation under this section; or

                 (b)    all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

     (5)    A determination under subsection (4) is to be in writing.

Part 2.3Retention licences

Division 1 — General

132.       Retention licences

             This Part provides for the grant of retention licences over blocks in coastal waters.

Note:        A retention licence is designed to allow an exploration licence holder to retain rights over an area if — 

·the holder has identified and evaluated a significant mineral deposit in the exploration licence area; and

·mining the deposit is not commercially viable in the short term; and

·there is a reasonable prospect of development of the deposit in the longer term.

                  See section 145 for the grounds on which a retention licence may be granted.

133.       Activities authorised by a retention licence

     (1)    Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a retention licence holder may — 

                 (a)    explore for minerals in the licence area; and

                 (b)    recover minerals in the licence area.

Note 1:     The retention licence may specify a restricted range of activities that are the only ones authorised by the licence (see section 146(3)).

Note 2:     Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

Note 3:     Under section 24(1) the concept of “recovery” extends to activities that are directly related to the recovery of minerals.

Note 4:     Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

     (2)    A retention licence does not authorise the recovery of minerals as part of a commercial mining operation.

     (3)    If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to explore for, or to recover, minerals not covered by the licence.

     (4)    A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

     (5)    For the purposes of subsection (3), the holder does not recover an excluded mineral if, in the course of exploring for, or recovering, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

134.       Minister may cancel or not renew retention licence without compensation

             No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of a retention licence by the Minister.

Note 1:     The Minister may cancel the licence under section 189 or 190.

Note 2:     The Minister may refuse under section 165 to renew the licence.

135.       Licence rights may be suspended

     (1)    The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by a retention licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

     (2)    The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

     (3)    The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

     (4)    A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

     (5)    If the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends rights conferred by a retention licence; or

                 (b)    ends a suspension,

             the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of a suspension.

Note:        See section 181 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

     (6)    A suspension takes effect when — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

                 (b)    the suspension has been registered under section 337.

136.       Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 135; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

             the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 135; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

                 (d)    the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

             the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

     (3)    In this section — 

              “acquisition of property” has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of retention licence

137.       Application for retention licence

     (1)    An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister for a retention licence over blocks within the exploration licence area.

     (2)    A person may apply for a retention licence over a group of blocks only if — 

                 (a)    the group forms a discrete area; and

                 (b)    there are not more than 20 blocks in the group.

     (3)    The exploration licence holder may apply for 2 or more retention licences over different parts of the exploration licence area.

138.       How to apply

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

                 (d)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the reasons why the applicant is applying for a retention licence rather than a mining licence; and

                             (ii)    the mineral deposit that the applicant has identified and evaluated and that the applicant believes is commercially viable in the longer term; and

                            (iii)    the applicant’s assessment of the present and potential commercial viability of the mineral deposit; and

                            (iv)    the overall work programme that the applicant has already carried out under the exploration licence on the blocks covered by the application; and

                             (v)    the amount of money that the applicant has already spent under the exploration licence on and in connection with the blocks covered by the application; and

                            (vi)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the blocks covered by the application; and

                           (vii)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on and in connection with those activities; and

                           (viii)    the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

                            (ix)    the technical advice available to the applicant; and

                             (x)    the financial resources available to the applicant;

                         and

                 (e)    be accompanied by maps that — 

                              (i)    relate to the blocks; and

                             (ii)    comply with the regulations;

                         and

                  (f)    specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The mineral deposit details given under subsection (1)(d)(ii) must include — 

                 (a)    a full description of the mineral deposit; and

                 (b)    both factual information about the deposit and the applicant’s interpretation of the factual information.

     (3)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

139.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

140.       Application must be advertised

     (1)    The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

     (2)    The advertisement must contain — 

                 (a)    the applicant’s name and address; and

                 (b)    a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

                 (c)    the address of the Minister; and

                 (d)    a statement that  — 

                              (i)    advises that the applicant has applied for a retention licence for the blocks described in the notice; and

                             (ii)    invites comment from the public on the application; and

                            (iii)    requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

     (3)    The advertisement must be published — 

                 (a)    as soon as possible after the applicant makes the application; and

                 (b)    in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant makes the application.

     (4)    If — 

                 (a)    the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

                 (b)    the Minister extends the period,

             the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

141.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

142.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

143.       Minister may provisionally grant licence

             If the applicant does what is required by sections 138 to 141, the Minister may — 

                 (a)    subject to section 145, provisionally grant a retention licence to the applicant; or

                 (b)    refuse the application.

Note:        Under section 154, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 151 for “proper acceptance”).

144.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

145.       Grounds for granting retention licence

     (1)    The Minister may provisionally grant the retention licence only if the Minister is satisfied that — 

                 (a)    the exploration licence holder has identified and evaluated a significant mineral deposit in the exploration licence area; and

                 (b)    there are reasonable grounds for the holder not applying immediately for a mining licence.

     (2)    Without limiting subsection (1), reasonable grounds for not applying immediately for a mining licence include the following — 

                 (a)    the need to obtain government approvals (for example, relating to environmental protection) before mining activities can commence;

                 (b)    the need to carry out further exploration or evaluation in order to establish the commercial viability of a mineral deposit found in the licence area;

                 (c)    the need to develop technologies before mining activities can commence;

                 (d)    the need to arrange finance, or to secure additional capital reserves, before mining activities can commence;

                 (e)    the existence of economic considerations (for example, the prevailing condition of the commodity market for the minerals concerned) that effectively preclude mining activities in the immediate future;

                  (f)    the existence of political considerations that effectively preclude mining activities in the immediate future.

146.       Matters to be specified in the licence

     (1)    The licence must specify — 

                 (a)    the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the term of the licence; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

     (2)    The term specified under subsection (1)(b) is not to exceed 5 years.

     (3)    The licence may specify the activities that may be carried out under the licence.

     (4)    If the licence includes a specification under subsection (3), the licence authorises only the specified activities.

147.       Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of a decision under section 143.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally grants a retention licence — 

                 (a)    the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

                 (b)    the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

                              (i)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

                             (ii)    notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                                            (I)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                                          (II)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                                         (III)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

148.       Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 147.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

149.       Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    is notified of a security requirement; and

                 (b)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 147.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

150.       Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the provisional holder makes a request under section 148 or 149, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 147.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

151.       Acceptance of grant of retention licence

     (1)    The provisional grant of a retention licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 150, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:        Under section 154, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before the grant is registered (see section 333 for registration).

152.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant

             If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 151, it is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 147; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 148, those conditions as amended.

153.       Lapse of provisional grant of retention licence

             If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 151, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Duration of retention licence

154.       Initial term of retention licence

     (1)    A retention licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

     (2)    The initial term of a retention licence expires at the end of the period specified in the licence under section 146(1).

Note 1:     For the maximum initial term see section 146(2).

Note 2:     The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 187).

     (3)    The period runs from — 

                 (a)    the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

155.       Term of renewal of licence

     (1)    A renewal of a retention licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the renewal is registered; or

                 (b)    the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

             whichever is the later.

Note:        See Division 5 for renewal.

     (2)    The term of a renewal of a licence expires at the end of the period specified in the notice under section 169.

Note 1:     For the maximum term of renewal see section 169(3).

Note 2:     The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 187).

     (3)    The period runs from the expiry of the previous term of the licence.

     (4)    In working out the period referred to in subsection (3) section 156 is to be disregarded.

156.       Effect of application for renewal on term of retention licence

             If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 159; and

                 (b)    the current term of the licence expires; and

                 (c)    a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

             the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

                 (d)    a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

                 (e)    a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

                  (f)    the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

157.       Effect of application for mining licence on term of retention licence

             If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence holder applies for a mining licence over the licence area, or part of the licence area, of the retention licence; and

                 (b)    the current term of the retention licence expires; and

                 (c)    a grant of the mining licence does not take effect before the current term of the retention licence expires,

             the retention licence remains in force until — 

                 (d)    the grant of the mining licence takes effect; or

                 (e)    a provisional grant of the mining licence lapses; or

                  (f)    the application for the mining licence is withdrawn or refused.

Division 4 — Voluntary surrender of part of retention licence area

158.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

     (1)    A retention licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:        See section 187 for the surrender of the whole licence.

     (2)    A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

                 (a)    be made in writing; and

                 (b)    identify the blocks surrendered; and

                 (c)    be given to the Minister.

Note:        The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

Division 5 — Application for and grant of renewal of retention licence

159.       Application for renewal of retention licence

             A retention licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:        At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 177).

160.       When application to be made

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the application must be made at least 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire.

     (2)    The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

                 (a)    the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

                 (b)    the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

161.       How to apply for renewal

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the reasons why the applicant is applying to renew the retention licence rather than applying for a mining licence; and

                             (ii)     the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

                            (iii)    the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

                            (iv)    the results obtained by the applicant from carrying out the activities referred to in subparagraph (ii); and

                             (v)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

                            (vi)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend in relation to activities authorised by the licence during the term applied for.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

162.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information relating to the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

163.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

164.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

165.       Provisional renewal of retention licence

             The Minister may — 

                 (a)    provisionally renew the licence; or

                 (b)    subject to section 168, refuse to renew the licence.

Note 1:     Under section 155, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 173 for “proper acceptance”).

Note 2:     Under section 177, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

166.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

167.       Matters that may be taken into account

             In determining whether to renew the licence, the Minister may have regard to — 

                 (a)    whether mining activities are commercially viable in the retention licence area; and

                 (b)    whether the applicant has complied with — 

                              (i)    this Act; and

                             (ii)    the regulations; and

                            (iii)    any licence conditions.

168.       Refusal of application for renewal

     (1)    If the Minister proposes to refuse to renew the licence, the Minister must give the applicant notice of the proposed refusal.

Note:        The retention licence remains in force until the application for renewal has been finally determined (i.e. until the Minister decides whether or not to renew the licence) (see section 156).

     (2)    The notice must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    give details of the Minister’s reasons for the proposal not to renew the licence; and

                 (c)    invite the applicant to make written submissions on the proposed non‑renewal to the Minister; and

                 (d)    specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister.

     (3)    The day specified under subsection (2)(d) is to be at least 30 days after the day on which the notice under subsection (1) is given to the applicant.

     (4)    The Minister, in deciding whether to refuse to renew the licence, must have regard to any submissions made by the applicant in response to the notice under subsection (1).

169.       Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 165.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally renews the licence under section 165, the notice must contain the following information — 

                 (a)    notification of the term of the renewal;

                 (b)    notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

                 (c)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

                 (d)    notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                              (i)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                             (ii)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                            (iii)    pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

Note:        Paragraph (b): section 177 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

     (3)    The term specified under subsection (2)(a) is not to exceed 5 years.

170.       Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 165; and

                 (b)    is notified of the licence conditions; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with a condition,

             the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given notice under section 169.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence conditions and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

171.       Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 165; and

                 (b)    is notified of a security requirement; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 169.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

172.       Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the licence holder makes a request under section 170 or 171, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 169.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request to extend the primary payment period, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

173.       Acceptance of renewal of retention licence

     (1)    The provisional renewal of a retention licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the licence holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 172, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:        Under section 155, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

174.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

             If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 173, the renewed licence is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 169; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 170, those conditions as amended.

175.       Lapse of provisional renewal of retention licence

             If the provisional renewal of a retention licence is not properly accepted under section 173, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 6 — Obligations associated with retention licence

176.       General

     (1)    The sources of obligations associated with a retention licence are — 

                 (a)    the licence conditions; and

                 (b)    obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

                 (c)    obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraph (a) see section 177. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 177 to 185, 372 and 391(1).

     (2)    If a retention licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

177.       Conditions of retention licence

     (1)    The Minister may grant or renew a retention licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (2)    If the Minister grants or renews a retention licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

     (3)    Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of a retention licence — 

                 (a)    a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

                 (b)    a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain activities in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

                 (c)    a condition requiring the holder to spend a specified amount of money in carrying out the activities referred to in paragraph (b);

                 (d)    a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

                 (e)    a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

                  (f)    a condition requiring the holder to give the Minister, on request, specified information;

                 (g)    a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

                              (i)    protecting wildlife; or

                             (ii)    minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

                 (h)    a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

                  (i)    a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

     (4)    A condition under subsection (3)(d) must specify — 

                 (a)    the amount of the security required; and

                 (b)    the kind of security required; and

                 (c)    the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

     (5)    Without limiting subsection (3)(d), a condition under that provision may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

                 (a)    the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

                 (b)    the terms of the guarantee.

178.       No conditions requiring payment of money

             Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of a security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

179.       Variation of conditions

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition; or

                 (b)    part of the licence area of a retention licence is surrendered under section 158,

             the Minister may vary a licence condition.

     (2)    If a Minister gives — 

                 (a)    a direction under section 387; or

                 (b)    an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

             to a retention licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

     (3)    The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (4)    If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

                 (a)    informs the holder of the variation; and

                 (b)    specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

                 (c)    specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

180.       Exemption from or suspension of conditions

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

                              (i)    suspend a licence condition; or

                             (ii)    exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition;

                         or

                 (b)    part of the licence area of a retention licence is surrendered under section 158,

             the Minister may — 

                 (c)    suspend a licence condition; or

                 (d)    exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

     (2)    If the Minister gives — 

                 (a)    a direction under section 387; or

                 (b)    an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

             to a retention licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

     (3)    The Minister may — 

                 (a)    suspend a licence condition; or

                 (b)    exempt the licence holder from compliance with a licence condition,

             subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (4)    If the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends a licence condition; or

                 (b)    exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

             the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

                 (c)    informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

                 (d)    specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

                 (e)    specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

Note:        A suspension or exemption of a condition does not take effect until registered (see section 337).

181.       Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended

             If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends particular rights conferred by a retention licence under section 135; and

                 (b)    a licence condition is affected by the suspension,

             the licence condition is suspended for the period of the suspension of the rights.

182.       Significant changes in circumstances to be reported to Minister

     (1)    A retention licence holder must notify the Minister of any change of circumstances that significantly affects the long term viability of mining activities in the retention licence area.

Note:        The Minister may cancel the retention licence if the Minister believes that circumstances have changed so that mining activities can now commence (see section 190).

     (2)    Subsection (1) applies to a change of circumstances whether favourable or unfavourable to the long term viability of mining activities in the retention licence area.

183.       Work practices

             A person who is a retention licence holder, or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

                 (a)    to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

                 (b)    to maintain in good repair all structures and equipment erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

                 (c)    to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

                              (i)    belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

                             (ii)    is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

              Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note 1:     The safety of offshore exploration and mining activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraphs (a) and (j) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

Note 2:     Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

184.       Licence holder must keep specified records etc.

             A retention licence holder must — 

                 (a)    keep whatever records and samples; and

                 (b)    give whatever records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

                 (c)    make whatever returns,

             are necessary to comply with — 

                 (d)    the regulations; or

                 (e)    the licence conditions; or

                  (f)    a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note:        Under sections 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and samples and to give records and samples to the Minister, and to make returns.

              Maximum penalty: $10 000.

185.       Licence holder must assist inspectors

             A retention licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note:        See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

              Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 7 — Expiry of retention licence

186.       General

             A retention licence expires if — 

                 (a)    the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

                 (b)    the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

                 (c)    a mining licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the retention licence; or

                 (d)    the licence is cancelled.

Note:        For paragraph (a) see Division 5. For paragraph (b) see section 187. For paragraph (c) see section 188. For paragraph (d) see sections 189 and 190.

187.       Voluntary surrender of retention licence

             A retention licence holder may surrender the licence.

Note 1:     See Division 4 for voluntary surrender of part of a licence area.

Note 2:     The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

188.       Automatic expiry of retention licence when mining licence takes effect

             If — 

                 (a)    a retention licence is in force; and

                 (b)    a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the retention licence area comes into force under section 232,

             the retention licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the mining licence.

189.       Cancellation of retention licence, breach of condition etc.

     (1)    Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel a retention licence if the licence holder — 

                 (a)    breaches a licence condition; or

                 (b)    contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

                 (c)    breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

     (2)    If the Minister proposes to cancel a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

     (3)    The notice must — 

                 (a)    specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

                 (b)    invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

                 (c)    specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

                 (d)    specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

     (4)    The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

     (5)    The Minister may cancel the licence only if — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

                 (b)    the Minister has considered — 

                              (i)    any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

                             (ii)    any steps taken by the holder to remedy the breach or contravention that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

                         and

                 (c)    the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

190.       Cancellation of retention licence, mining activities viable

     (1)    If the Minister believes that mining activities should commence in a retention licence area, the Minister must ask the licence holder to explain to the Minister why the holder should not apply for a mining licence over the retention licence area.

     (2)    A request under subsection (1) must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    specify the day by which the holder is to give the explanation to the Minister.

     (3)    The day specified under subsection (2)(b) is to be at least 30 days after the day on which the request is given to the holder.

     (4)    An explanation provided in response to a request under subsection (1) must be in writing.

     (5)    The Minister may cancel the retention licence if — 

                 (a)    a request is made under subsection (1); and

                 (b)    either — 

                              (i)    the holder does not give the Minister an explanation in response to the request by the day specified in the request; or

                             (ii)    the holder gives the Minister an explanation in response to the request but the Minister does not consider the explanation to be satisfactory.

     (6)    If the Minister cancels a retention licence under subsection (5), the Minister may specify the day on which the cancellation takes effect.

     (7)    Without limiting subsection (6), the Minister, in determining the day on which the cancellation is to take effect, may have regard to the time needed by the holder to obtain the grant of a mining licence over the retention licence area.

191.       Obligations of former retention licence holders and former associates

     (1)    Subject to subsection (4), if — 

                 (a)    a person was — 

                              (i)    a retention licence holder; or

                             (ii)    an associate of a retention licence holder;

                         and

                 (b)    the licence — 

                              (i)    expires; or

                             (ii)    is cancelled; or

                            (iii)    is surrendered;

                         and

                 (c)    an obligation associated with the licence arising out of — 

                              (i)    a licence condition; or

                             (ii)    a direction given under section 387; or

                            (iii)    this Act or the regulations,

                         has not been discharged; and

                 (d)    the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the licence holder or an associate,

             the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not continue an obligation to carry out exploration or recovery activities.

     (3)    Subsection (1) continues an obligation that a person had to carry out exploration or recovery activities in a particular manner if the person carries them out.

     (4)    The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

                 (a)    any particular obligation under this section; or

                 (b)    all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

     (5)    A determination under subsection (4) is to be in writing.

Part 2.4Mining licences

Division 1 — General

192.       Mining licences

     (1)    This Part provides for the grant of mining licences over blocks in coastal waters.

     (2)    A mining licence may be granted over — 

                 (a)    a vacant standard block (see Division 2); or

                 (b)    certain blocks that are not vacant (see Division 2); or

                 (c)    a tender block (see Division 3).

Note 1:     A tender block is a block that has been declared available for tender. A standard block is any other block (see sections 19 and 20).

Note 2:     A retention or exploration licence holder may apply for a mining licence over the same area or part of the same area.

Note 3:     Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

193.       Activities authorised by a mining licence

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), a mining licence holder may — 

                 (a)    recover minerals in the licence area; and

                 (b)    explore for minerals in the licence area.

Note 1:     Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

Note 2:     Under section 24(1) the concept of “recovery” extends to activities that are directly related to the recovery of minerals.

Note 3:     Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

     (2)    If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to recover, or to explore for, minerals not covered by the licence.

     (3)    A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

     (4)    For the purposes of subsection (2), the holder does not recover an excluded mineral if, in the course of recovering, or exploring for, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

194.       Minister may cancel or not renew mining licence without compensation

             No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of a mining licence by the Minister.

Note 1:     The Minister may cancel the licence under section 265.

Note 2:     The Minister may refuse under section 242 to renew the licence.

195.       Licence rights may be suspended

     (1)    The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by a mining licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

     (2)    The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

     (3)    The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

     (4)    A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

     (5)    If the Minister — 

                 (a)    suspends rights conferred by a mining licence; or

                 (b)    ends a suspension,

             the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of a suspension.

Note:        See section 258 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

     (6)    A suspension takes effect when — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

                 (b)    the suspension has been registered under section 337.

196.       Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

     (1)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 195; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

             the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    the Minister suspends licence rights under section 195; and

                 (b)    the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

                 (c)    the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

                 (d)    the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

             the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

     (3)    In this section — 

              “acquisition of property” has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of mining licence over standard blocks

197.       Application for mining licence over vacant standard block

     (1)    A person may apply to the Minister for a mining licence over a standard block that is vacant.

     (2)    A standard block is vacant if no exploration, retention or mining licence is in force over the block.

     (3)    The application must not cover more than 20 blocks.

     (4)    If the application is for a licence over a group of blocks, the blocks must form a discrete area.

198.       Holder of exploration licence or retention licence may apply for mining licence

     (1)    An exploration or retention licence holder may apply to the Minister for a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the licence area of the exploration or retention licence.

     (2)    A person may apply for a mining licence under subsection (1) over a group of blocks only if — 

                 (a)    the group forms a discrete area; and

                 (b)    there are not more than 20 blocks in the group.

     (3)    The holder may apply for 2 or more mining licences over different parts of the licence area of the exploration or retention licence.

199.       How to apply

     (1)    An application under section 197 or 198 must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

                 (d)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the block or blocks covered by the application; and

                             (ii)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities; and

                            (iii)    the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

                            (iv)    the technical advice available to the applicant; and

                             (v)    the financial resources available to the applicant; and

                            (vi)    if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share of the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

                         and

                 (e)    be accompanied by maps that — 

                              (i)    relate to the blocks; and

                             (ii)    comply with the regulations;

                         and

                  (f)    specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

200.       Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application

             If — 

                 (a)    a person applies under section 197 or 198 for a licence over a group of blocks; and

                 (b)    because of section 18, 197 or 198 a mining licence cannot be granted over one or more of the blocks in the group,

             the Minister may still deal with the application to the extent to which the application covers blocks for which a mining licence can be granted.

Note:        A mining licence cannot be granted over a block that is not vacant or over a reserved block (see section 18).

201.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

202.       Application must be advertised

     (1)    The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper that circulates throughout the State.

     (2)    The advertisement must contain — 

                 (a)    the applicant’s name and address; and

                 (b)    a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

                 (c)    the address of the Minister; and

                 (d)    a statement that — 

                              (i)    advises that the applicant has applied for a mining licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

                             (ii)    invites comment from the public on the application; and

                            (iii)    requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

     (3)    The advertisement must be published — 

                 (a)    as soon as possible after the applicant lodges the application; and

                 (b)    in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant lodges the application.

     (4)    If — 

                 (a)    the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

                 (b)    the Minister extends the period,

             the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

203.       How multiple applications are dealt with

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), if a block is covered by 2 or more applications for a mining or exploration licence, the Minister must deal with the applications in the order in which they are made.

Note:        See also section 58.

     (2)    If — 

                 (a)    the applications are lodged within a particular time of each other; and

                 (b)    the time is less than the time prescribed by the regulations,

             the Minister must determine the order in which the applications are to be dealt with by drawing lots in the way prescribed by the regulations.

204.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant for further information relating to the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

205.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

206.       Minister may provisionally grant licence

             If the applicant does what is required by sections 199 to 204, the Minister may — 

                 (a)    provisionally grant a mining licence to the applicant; or

                 (b)    subject to section 208, refuse the application.

Note:        Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 214 for “proper acceptance”).

207.       Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park

             In the case of the provisional grant of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, section 206 has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:        Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

208.       Refusal of application for mining licence made under section 198

     (1)    If the Minister proposes to refuse an application for a mining licence made under section 198, the Minister must notify the applicant of the proposed refusal.

     (2)    The notice must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    specify the reason for the proposed refusal; and

                 (c)    invite the applicant to make written submissions in relation to the proposed refusal; and

                 (d)    specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

                 (e)    specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

     (3)    The day specified under subsection (2)(d) must be not less than 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.

     (4)    The Minister may refuse to grant an application for a mining licence made under section 198 only if — 

                 (a)    the applicant has been given a notice under subsection (1); and

                 (b)    the Minister has considered any submission made by the applicant; and

                 (c)    the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence being granted.

     (5)    This section does not apply if the reason for the refusal of an application for a mining licence is that the requirements of section 38A(2) have not been met.

Note:        Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

209.       Matters to be specified in the licence

     (1)    The licence must specify — 

                 (a)    the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the term of the licence; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

     (2)    The term specified under subsection (1)(b) is not to exceed 21 years.

210.       Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 206.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally grants a mining licence — 

                 (a)    the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

                 (b)    the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

                              (i)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

                             (ii)    notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                                            (I)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                                          (II)    lodges any security required by the Minister under section 399; and

                                         (III)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

211.       Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 210.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

     (5)    This section does not apply to a licence condition that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

212.       Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    is notified of a security requirement; and

                 (b)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given notice under section 210.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

     (5)    This section does not apply to a security requirement that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

213.       Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the provisional holder makes a request under section 211 or 212, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 210.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

214.       Acceptance of grant of mining licence for standard block

     (1)    The provisional grant of the mining licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 213, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:        Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

215.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant

             If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 214, it is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 210; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 211, those conditions as amended.

216.       Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence

             If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 214, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Application for and grant of mining licence over tender block

217.       Matters to be determined before applications for mining licence over tender blocks invited

     (1)    If the Minister proposes to invite applications for the grant of a mining licence over reserved blocks, the Minister must, before inviting the applications, determine — 

                 (a)    the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

                 (b)    the amount of security that will be required for the licence under section 399; and

                 (c)    the initial term of the licence; and

                 (d)    the licence conditions.

     (2)    The term determined under subsection (1)(c) is not to exceed 21 years.

218.       Minister may invite applications for mining licence over tender blocks

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may invite applications for the grant of a mining licence over reserved blocks.

     (2)    Applications may be invited for a licence covering a group of reserved blocks only if the group forms a discrete area.

     (3)    The Minister is to invite applications by publishing a tender block licence notice for the licence in the Gazette.

Note 1:     A mining licence may cover not more than 20 tender blocks (see section 219).

Note 2:     A mining licence might be made available by a tender block notice if a mineral deposit in the area had already been identified and sufficient information was already available to justify the issue of a mining licence rather than an exploration licence.

219.       Tender block licence notice — mining licence

     (1)    A tender block licence notice for a mining licence must — 

                 (a)    specify the blocks to be covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    specify the period within which applications may be made; and

                 (c)    specify the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

                 (d)    specify the amount of security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

                 (e)    specify the initial term of the licence; and

                  (f)    include a statement to the effect that information about — 

                              (i)    the security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

                             (ii)    the licence conditions,

                         may be obtained from the Minister.

     (2)    Without limiting paragraph (c) of subsection (1), the Minister may for the purposes of that paragraph specify that the tender will be determined on the basis of either or both of the following — 

                 (a)    the nature and extent of the mining activity proposed to be carried out;

                 (b)    the amount of money offered for the licence.

     (3)    The tender block licence notice may specify not more than 20 blocks for the mining licence.

     (4)    If section 38A will apply to the grant of a licence, the tender block licence notice must specify that fact.

220.       Application for mining licence over tender blocks

             If a tender block licence notice has been published inviting applications for a mining licence, a person may apply to the Minister for the licence.

221.       How to apply

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    be made before the end of the period specified in the tender block licence notice; and

                 (d)    address the criteria specified under section 219(1)(c); and

                 (e)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

                             (ii)    the technical advice available to the applicant; and

                            (iii)    the financial resources available to the applicant; and

                            (iv)    if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

                         and

                  (f)    specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

222.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

223.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

224.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

225.       Minister may provisionally grant licence

     (1)    The Minister may provisionally grant a mining licence to an applicant who has done what is required by sections 221 to 223.

     (2)    When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 218.

     (3)    If the Minister refuses to grant a licence under subsection (1) the Minister must give the applicant notice of the refusal.

226.       Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park

             In the case of the provisional grant of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, section 225 has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:        Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 225 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

227.       Successful applicant must be notified

     (1)    If the Minister provisionally grants a mining licence under section 225 or 231, the Minister must give the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    the licence; and

                 (b)    written notice that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given — 

                              (i)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                             (ii)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                            (iii)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

                            (iv)    if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 221(1)(d).

     (2)    The licence must specify — 

                 (a)    the blocks covered by the licence; and

                 (b)    the term of the licence; and

                 (c)    the licence conditions.

Note:        For the term of a licence see section 217(2).

228.       Acceptance of grant of mining licence over tender blocks

             The provisional grant of a mining licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 227, the provisional holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

                 (d)    if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 221(1)(d).

Note:        Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

229.       Conditions applicable to licence on grant

     (1)    If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted, the licence is subject to the conditions determined under section 217.

     (2)    If subsection (2) of section 38A applies, the licence is also subject to the conditions specified in a resolution referred to in that subsection.

230.       Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence

             If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 228, the provisional grant lapses.

231.       Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses

     (1)    If the provisional grant of the licence lapses under section 230, the Minister may provisionally grant the licence to another of the applicants for the licence.

     (2)    When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 218.

     (3)    In the case of the provisional grant of a licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, subsection (1) has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:        Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

Division 4 — Duration of mining licence

232.       Initial term of mining licence

     (1)    A mining licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

     (2)    The initial term of a mining licence ends — 

                 (a)    if the licence is granted under Division 2, at the end of the period specified in the licence under section 209(1); or

                 (b)    if the licence is granted under Division 3, at the end of the period specified under section 227(2).

Note:        The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 264).

     (3)    The period runs from — 

                 (a)    the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

                 (b)    if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

233.       Term of renewal of licence

     (1)    A renewal of a mining licence comes into force on — 

                 (a)    the day on which the renewal is registered; or

                 (b)    the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

             whichever is the later.

Note:        See Division 6 for renewal.

     (2)    The term of a renewal of a licence ends at the end of the period specified in the notice under section 246.

Note 1:     For the maximum term of renewal see section 246(3).

Note 2:     The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 264).

     (3)    The period runs from the day on which the previous term of the licence expires.

     (4)    In working out the period referred to in subsection (3) section 234 is to be disregarded.

234.       Effect of application for renewal on term of mining licence

             If — 

                 (a)    a mining licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 236; and

                 (b)    the current term of the licence expires; and

                 (c)    a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

             the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

                 (d)    a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

                 (e)    a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

                  (f)    the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of mining licence area

235.       Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

     (1)    A mining licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:        See section 264 for the surrender of the whole licence.

     (2)    A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

                 (a)    be made in writing; and

                 (b)    identify the blocks surrendered; and

                 (c)    be given to the Minister.

Note:        The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of mining licence

236.       Application for renewal of mining licence

             A mining licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:        At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 254).

237.       When application to be made

     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the application must be made at least 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire.

     (2)    The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

                 (a)    the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

                 (b)    the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

238.       How to apply for renewal

     (1)    The application must — 

                 (a)    be made in accordance with the approved form; and

                 (b)    be made in the approved manner; and

                 (c)    include details of — 

                              (i)    the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

                             (ii)    the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

                            (iii)    the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

                            (iv)    the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend in relation to activities authorised by the licence during the term applied for.

Note:        For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

     (2)    The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

239.       Request for further information

     (1)    The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information relating to the application.

     (2)    The request must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    be given to the applicant; and

                 (c)    specify the time within which the information must be provided.

     (3)    Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

                 (a)    in writing; and

                 (b)    within the time specified in the request.

240.       Payment of fee

     (1)    The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

     (2)    The fee must be paid when the application is made.

     (3)    The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

241.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

242.       Provisional renewal of mining licence

             The Minister may — 

                 (a)    provisionally renew the licence; or

                 (b)    subject to section 245, refuse to renew the licence.

Note 1:     Under section 233, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 250 for “proper acceptance”).

Note 2:     Under section 254, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

243.       Section number not used

             See note 2 to section 3(1).

244.       Matters that may be taken into account

             In deciding whether to renew a mining licence, the Minister may have regard to whether the applicant has complied with — 

                 (a)    this Act; and

                 (b)    the regulations; and

                 (c)    any licence conditions.

245.       Refusal of application for renewal

     (1)    If the Minister proposes to refuse to renew the licence, the Minister must give the applicant notice of the proposed refusal.

     (2)    The notice must — 

                 (a)    be in writing; and

                 (b)    specify the reason for the proposed refusal; and

                 (c)    invite the holder to make written submissions in relation to the proposed refusal; and

                 (d)    specify the day by which submissions may be given to the Minister; and

                 (e)    specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

     (3)    The day specified under subsection (2)(d) must be not less than 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.

     (4)    The Minister may refuse to grant the application only if — 

                 (a)    the holder has been given a notice under subsection (1); and

                 (b)    the Minister has considered any submission made by the applicant; and

                 (c)    the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the renewal being granted.

246.       Applicant must be notified

     (1)    The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 242.

     (2)    If the Minister provisionally renews the licence under section 242, the notice must contain the following information — 

                 (a)    notification of the term of the renewal;

                 (b)    notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

                 (c)    notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

                 (d)    notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

                              (i)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                             (ii)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                            (iii)    pays the fee that must be paid for the renewal under section 425.

Note:        Section 254 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

     (3)    The term specified under subsection (2)(a) is not to be more than 21 years.

247.       Amendment of conditions

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 242; and

                 (b)    is notified of the licence conditions; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with a condition,

             the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

248.       Amendment of security requirements

     (1)    If the licence holder — 

                 (a)    has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 242; and

                 (b)    is notified of a security requirement for the licence; and

                 (c)    is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

             the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

     (3)    If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

     (4)    The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

249.       Extension of primary payment period

     (1)    If the licence holder makes a request under section 247 or 248, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

     (2)    The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

     (3)    If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

                 (a)    determine the period of the extension; and

                 (b)    give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

250.       Acceptance of renewal of mining licence

     (1)    The provisional renewal of a mining licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

                 (a)    gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

                 (b)    lodges any security required under section 399; and

                 (c)    pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

     (2)    The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 249, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:        Under section 233, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

251.       Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

             If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 250, the renewed licence is subject to — 

                 (a)    the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 246; or

                 (b)    if the Minister amended those conditions under section 247, those conditions as amended.

252.       Lapse of provisional renewal of mining licence

             If the provisional renewal of a mining licence is not properly accepted under section 250, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 7 — Obligations associated with mining licence

253.       General

     (1)    The sources of obligations associated with a mining licence are — 

                 (a)    the licence conditions; and

                 (b)    obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

                 (c)    obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:        For paragraph (a) see sections 254 to 256. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 259 to 262, 372 and 391(1).

     (2)    If a mining licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

254.       Conditions of mining licence

     (1)    The Minister may grant or renew a mining licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

     (2)    If the Minister grants or renews a mining licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

     (3)    Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of a mining licence — 

                 (a)    a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

                 (b)    a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain work in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

                 (c)    a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

                 (d)    a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

                 (e)    a condition requiring the holder to give to the Minister, on request, specified information;

                  (f)    a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

                              (i)    protecting wildlife; or

                             (ii)    minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

                 (g)    a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

                 (h)    a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

     (4)    A condition under subsection (3)(c) must specify — 

                 (a)    the amount of the security required; and

                 (b)    the kind of security required; and

                 (c)    the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

     (5)    Without limiting subsection (3)(c), a condition under that provision may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

                 (a)    the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

                 (b)    the terms of the guarantee.

     (6)    If subsection (2) of section 38A applies to a mining licence, the licence must include any condition specified in a resolution under that subsection.

255.       No conditions requiring payment of money

     (1)    Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not limit the conditions that may be included in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

256.       Variation of conditions