Sunset Clause Annual Release 2021

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s annual release of mineral exploration reports will commence at the beginning of May 2021.

Under Regulation 96(4) of the Mining Regulations 1981, known as the Sunset Clause, a list of reports that were submitted between 2002 and 2010, and in 2015, under Section 115a of the Mining Act 1978 will be available on the department’s website.

Pursuant to Regulation 96(5), the holder of a mining tenement covered by the report, or any subsequent tenement granted in renewal of or substitution for such mining tenement, may object to the release. Objections to the immediate release of a report must set out specific reasons why identified reports, or parts of reports, should not be released and must be received prior to the release of the report.

Also pursuant to Regulation 96(5) objections to the release of a report are only valid for a period not exceeding five years in each case. Therefore objections made between 2007 and 2016 to the release of reports submitted between 2002 and 2010 have now lapsed and need to be renewed or the report will be released.

Executive Director Geological Survey and Resource Strategy Jeff Haworth said tenement holders and operators will be able to submit objections for two months following the listing of the eligible reports.

“The first five year period of confidentiality is mandatory. The period of confidentiality granted, following an acceptable objection from the tenement holder, is at the Minister’s discretion,” he said.

The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) released 626 “Grandfather” reports in 2020, some of which had remained confidential for up to 35 years. It is expected more reports held confidential for up to 19 years will be released this year.

“Mining and exploration data is a valuable resource for the State, mining and exploration companies and the geoscientific community at large”, said Mr Haworth.

“The release of this data last year received widespread support from industry and the industry representative bodies.”

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