On 27 June 2013, the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
passed amendments to the Mining Management Act (NT)
(MMA) to give effect to this proposal. The
amendments have not yet commenced, but according to the Government,
they will on 1 October 2013.
The amendments, made by the Mining Management Amendment Act 2013
(NT), mean that both new and existing mine operators will be
required to pay a non-refundable levy, calculated at 1% of the
security paid under their mining authorisation. Part of the levy
collected will be paid into a new Mining Remediation Fund,
established under the MMA and used to fund work to minimise and
rectify environmental harm caused by unsecured mining activities.
It is understood that, in return for the new levy, operators will
receive a 10% reduction in the level of security they need to lodge
with the Department.
In relation to existing mining projects, as soon as practicable
after the commencement of these amendments, the Minister will
provide a notice to operators requiring them to pay the levy. While
not specifically dealt with in the MMA, the Minister may deal with
the following matters by regulation:
payment of the levy on a pro rata basis; and
the ability of an operator to enter into an arrangement with
the Minister for payment of the levy in instalments.
Amendments have also been made to the MMA which provide for the
making of regulations to provide for:
a minimum amount of a security to be provided by an
procedures for calculating a security; and
criteria on which the calculation of a security is to be
How will this affect my mining project?
The proposed levy will have implications for mining operators
who, from October 2013, may be faced with a levy equal to 1% of the
security paid under their mining authorisation. This may however be
offset by a reduction in the security to be lodged with the
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 important detail about the scheme has been deferred, to
be dealt with by regulation, including when a levy can be paid in
instalments. It will be important for mining operators to monitor
the release of these regulations in the lead up to the proposed
implementation of the scheme 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.
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