The Northern Territory Government has announced that it will
impose a new levy on mining companies in order to fund the
rehabilitation of legacy mine sites.
According to a media release by the Minister for Mines and
Energy, a 1% levy will be imposed on all environmental
rehabilitation security bonds from October 2013. This is intended
to apply to new and existing environmental bonds.
Currently, environmental bonds can be required by the Minister
through the imposition of a condition on an operator's mining
authorisation under the Mining Management Act 2001 (NT). It is
current policy for the Department of Mines and Energy to require an
environmental bond for 100% of the cost of rehabilitating a mine
site. This is calculated based on the actual cost of rehabilitation
commensurate with the size, environmental risk and expected life of
According to the media release, the proposed levy will be
calculated as 1% of the full amount of an operator's
environmental bond. Levies will be paid into a special fund that
will be set up to address legacy mining liabilities across the
Territory. The Minister has stated that the levy is expected to
raise approximately $6.45 million in its first year and that some
of this money will be used to fund a team dedicated to mining
remediation and legacy issues.
How will this affect my mining project?
The proposed levy will have significant implications for mining
operators who, from October 2013, may be faced with a levy equal to
1% of the cost of rehabilitating their mine sites.
In preparation for the introduction of the levy, mining
operators should consider whether the amount of their environmental
bond is capable of being reduced. This will be particularly
relevant to operators of mines that have already commenced
rehabilitation activities as, under the Department's Security
Policy, bonds should be regularly reviewed and adjusted taking into
consideration (amongst other things) an operator's progress in
Further details of the levy are yet to be released. The
Department has also not publicly stated whether it intends to
reform the existing environmental bond system, although there have
been calls from industry to do so. According to the Minister's
media release, the Department will continue to hold environmental
bonds for 100% of the rehabilitation cost of existing and new mine
It will be important for mining operators to monitor these
reforms as further details emerge in the lead up to the proposed
implementation of the levy in October.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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).