The Queensland Government has announced significant changes to
the duty treatment of transactions involving resources exploration
tenements in the State.
Under reforms announced in the 2011-2012 Mid Year Fiscal and
Economic Review, duty could now be payable on the acquisition
of exploration tenements or of shares in companies that own
Here, associate Damian Roe and solicitor Hannah Byrne discuss
what these changes mean for companies acquiring exploration
tenements in Queensland.
Summary of key points
Under the Queensland Government's 2011-2012 Mid Year
Fiscal and Economic Review, legislation will be enacted to
change the definition of 'land' and 'statutory
licence' under the Duties Act 2001 (Qld) to include
resources exploration tenements. This change will have
retrospective effect and will apply from 10.30am on 13 January
Duty based on a sliding scale of up to 5.25 percent could now
be payable on the acquisition of an exploration tenement, whether
the tenement is acquired directly, or indirectly through the
acquisition of shares in a corporation that owns an exploration
Changes to the definition of land under the Duties Act
Previously, the definition of land under the Duties Act, which
applies to both transfer duty and landholder duty, specifically
excluded resources exploration tenements.
The Government is now proposing to introduce legislation that
will include the following exploration tenements in the definition
Prospecting and exploration permits under the Mineral
Resources Act 1989 (Qld)
Authorities to prospect under the Petroleum and Gas
(Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) and Petroleum Act
Geothermal exploration permits under the Geothermal
Exploration Act 2004 (Qld)
Greenhouse gas exploration permits under the Greenhouse Gas
Storage Act 2009 (Qld)
Impact of the changes
The Duties Act imposes duty on transfers of dutiable property,
agreements to transfer dutiable property, partnership acquisitions
and trust acquisitions (where the partnership or trust holds
The Duties Act defines dutiable property to include land in
Queensland. Accordingly, these changes will not only apply to
agreements for the transfer of exploration tenements, but also to
acquisitions of interests in partnerships or trusts that hold such
tenements. They are also likely to apply to joint ventures and
The Duties Act also imposes landholder duty on the acquisition
of shares in a corporation, or units in a listed unit trust, that
has landholdings in Queensland with an unencumbered value of $2
million or more.
The Queensland Government's announcement also indicates that
exploration tenements will be included in the calculation of an
entity's landholdings for the purposes of landholder duty.
This means that significant duty could now be payable on the
acquisition of shares in a company that holds exploration
Timing of the changes
These changes apply to transfers or agreements for the transfer
of exploration tenements made or entered into at or after 10.30am
on 13 January 2012.
The Government has updated the factsheet it initially released
to confirm that the changes will not apply to agreements to
transfer exploration tenements or acquire an interest in a
landholder entered into before that time, even where the transfer
is completed after that time.
The Queensland Government's full 2011-2012 Mid Year
Fiscal and Economic Review and the Treasurer's statement
on the changes can be viewed
online. No further details have been released at this time.
However, we will continue to monitor the changes and will provide
more information as it comes to hand.
It is a common misconception that the grant of mining tenure, whether it be an Exploration Permit, Mineral Development Licence or Mining Lease, will entitle the holder to access all land within it in order to explore or mine.
This briefing note sets out a likely structure for the proposed privatisation of the networks and identifies key issues.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).