As part of the Government's Quality Regulatory Services initiative, the NSW Department of Industry, Resources & Energy is implementing new service delivery standards for the processing of applications under the Mining Act 1992.

These changes have been funded through the Administrative Levy.

Improved timeframes for processing of applications under the Mining Act 1992 are set out in Table 1.

Purpose of service delivery standards

Regulatory processing delays represent one of the biggest areas of administrative burden for industry.

Implementing service delivery standards will provide greater certainty and allow industry to manage operations and deadlines around the expected waiting times.

Process for applications

Figure 1 sets out Resources & Energy's new process for handling of applications, including the application of "stop the clock" provisions.

In summary:

  1. The processing clock starts when a complete application, including all required supporting information, is received by Resources & Energy.
  2. If an application is deficient, the applicant will be notified immediately. The applicant must submit all required supporting information to Resources & Energy within 10 business days of the date the application was originally lodged.
  3. The processing clock will only be stopped in the event that an exception identified in Table 2 applies.
  4. Processing is complete when the applicant is notified of the result of the decision.

When the standards come into force

The new service delivery standards apply to applications lodged from 1 July 2013.

Reporting on performance

Resources & Energy will document and measure performance against these service delivery standards.

This will include reporting against each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and publishing this information quarterly on the Resources & Energy website for the 2013/14 financial year and beyond.

Quarterly Performance Reports

Note: The initial quarterly report may not accurately reflect Resources & Energy performance due to retrospective application of targets to all applications lodged from 1 July 2013.

Review of service delivery standards

Resources & Energy will meet regularly with NSW Minerals Council and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies to review our service delivery performance and examine opportunities for further improvement.

Table 1: Timeframes for processing of applications under the Mining Act 1992

Application type

Existing processing timeframe

New target

Improvement

New KPI

Comment

Title applications – minerals

  • Exploration Licences
  • Assessment Leases
  • Mining Leases

80 business days

45 business days

44%

90% of applications processed and offer/refusal decision made within 45 business days.

Mining leases cannot be granted prior to development consent.

Title applications – coal
  • Exploration Licences

150 business days

85 business days

43%

90% of applications processed and offer/refusal decision made within 85 business days.

Mining leases cannot be granted prior to development consent. Compared to Minerals, additional time is required due to:

  • 20 business days for public comment process
  • 20 days for the applicant's rights of reply
  • Ministerial approval of offer
  • Assessment Leases
  • Mining Leases

150 business days

45 business days

70%

90% of applications processed and offer/refusal decision made within 45 business days.

Mining leases cannot be granted prior to development consent.

Title renewals – minerals

  • Exploration Licences
  • Assessment Leases
  • Mining Leases

80 business days

45 business days

44%

90% of applications processed and offer/refusal decision made within 45 business days.

 

Title renewals – coal

  • Exploration Licences
  • Assessment Leases
  • Mining Leases

100 business days

45 business days

55%

90% of applications processed and offer/refusal decision made within 45 business days.

 

Exploration activity approvals –

  • Category 2 Surface Disturbance Notice (SDN)

2 weeks +

10 business days

~25%

90% of applications determined within 10 business days.

 

Exploration activity approvals –

  • Category 3 REF

2 months

30 business days

~25%

90% of applications determined within 30 business days.

20 business days required for referral of AIS to DPI

Mining approvals –

  • Mining Operations Plan (MOP)

2 months +

30 business days

~25%

90% of applications determined within 30 business days.

 

Mining approvals –

  • Subsidence Management Plan (SMP)

6 months

90 business days

~25%

90% of applications determined within 90 business days.

To eliminate potential disruptions to mining schedules, applications should be lodged at least six months prior to the commencement dates sought by the proponent.

Security deposit review

2 months

30 business days

~25%

90% of applications determined within 30 business days.

 

Security deposit release

Minimum 2 weeks

10 business days

~25%

90% of securities released within 10 business days following determination.

Cash refunds will be requested within 10 business days, however the processing of cash refunds is a function which is outside Resources & Energy control.

New Frontiers

Deliverables to be defined with input from stakeholders via the New Frontiers Industry Liaison Committee and performance to be reported back to that committee.

Figure 1: Processing applications under the Mining Act 1992

Table 2: Exception management

Exception management ("stop the clock") processes are essential to meaningful reporting of our service delivery performance. They identify circumstances which are beyond the control of Resources & Energy.

Resources & Energy will endeavour to minimise the use of the exception management ("stop the clock") triggers set out below. Where practicable:

  • Resources & Energy will continue processing applications while the clock is stopped.
  • If multiple triggers occur, the triggers will be dealt with in parallel rather than sequentially.

Application type

Exception

Processing clock triggers

Legislation preferences

Stop clock

Restart clock

All types of applications

Applicant requests that application is put on hold.

Request received from applicant to stop processing.

Request received from applicant to restart processing.

N/A

Development consent required  prior to Mining Act 1992 approval.

Notification to applicant that processing can not proceed without development consent.

Copy of relevant consent supplied to Resources & Energy.

Section 65 Mining Act 1992 Clause 7(1) State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007

EPBC Act referral decision or approval required of direct relevance to application or title.

Notification to applicant that processing cannot proceed until referral decision or approval is made.

Copy of referral decision or approval supplied to Resources & Energy.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2000

Relevant litigation underway in relation to application or title.

Notification to applicant that litigation precludes further processing.

Resources & Energy notified that litigation has been resolved.

N/A

Significant unresolved issue with 3rd party of direct relevance to application or title.

Notification to applicant that issue with 3rd party precludes further processing.

Resources & Energy notified that issue with 3rd party has been resolved.

N/A

Serious compliance issue of direct relevance to application or title.

Notification to applicant that compliance issue precludes further processing.

Compliance issue has been resolved.

To be dealt with in accordance with Resources & Energy compliance/enforcement policy and procedures

Deficiency in application which may otherwise result in application being refused. 1

Notification to applicant of deficiency.

Requested information supplied to Resources & Energy or applicant does not supply information within requested timeframe.

Administrative law principles relating to the exercise of discretionary powers and procedural fairness

Title applications – grant or renewal

Right to negotiate process.

Commencement of right to negotiate process at request of applicant.

Completion of right to negotiate process

Native Title Act 1993

Significant improvement determination (mining leases only).

Receipt of objection.

Determination of objection

Section 62(6A) Mining Act 1992

Agricultural land determination (mining leases only).

Receipt of objection.

Determination of objection

Section 179 Mining Act 1992

Survey outstanding (mining leases only).

Notification to applicant that survey required before processing can proceed.

Survey compliant with requirements supplied to Resources & Energy

Section 66 Mining Act 1992

Exploration activity approvals –

  • Category 2 SDN
  • Category 3 REF

Mining approvals –

  • Mining Operations Plan (MOP)
  • Subsidence Management Plan (SMP)

Mining Act 1992 authorisation (title) required prior to activity approval.

Notification to applicant

Authorisation (title) granted

Sections 5 and 6 Mining Act 1992

  • Exploration activity approvals – Category 3 REF

Consent required from the Minister for the Environment for exploration in State Conservation Areas.

Notification to applicant

Copy of consent supplied to Resources & Energy

Section 47J(7) National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

Mining approvals –

  • Subsidence Management Plan (SMP)

Extraction Plan required.2

Notification to applicant

Copy of Extraction Plan approval supplied to Resources & Energy

An Extraction Plan may be required as a condition of recent development consents under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979

1 Subject to the discretion of Resources & Energy, applications with major deficiencies may be processed and rejected without stopping the processing clock.

2 SMP approval cannot be granted prior to approval of an Extraction Plan (where one is required under the conditions of a development consent) to avoid imposition of inconsistent regulatory requirements. In these circumstances, Resources & Energy will process the SMP in parallel with the assessment of the Extraction Plan to minimise additional processing time.