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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 924 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 October 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 10 October 2018


924. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:

Subsequent to question without notice 897, I again refer to mining leases 31/79, 31/284 and forfeiture 536709, recorded on 27 September 2018.

(1) Can the minister explain the reasons and factual circumstances, including dates, that the department was able to identify that Hawthorn Resources had not taken all reasonable measures to prevent or minimise the generation of dust from all materials handling operations, stockpiles, open areas and transport activities in noncompliance with condition 21 on mining lease 31/79?

(2) Can the minister explain why a penalty of $40 000 was chosen and determined rather than a higher penalty?

(3) Can the minister state how much money in gold royalties was owing by the holders and how this figure was derived and calculated for the June 2018 quarter to justify the issuing of forfeiture notice 536709?

(4) Can the minister explain why no penalty has been imposed on mining lease 31/284?

Hon DARREN WEST replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. I provide the following answer on behalf of the Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

(1) Following a detailed investigation, the minister received a recommendation from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety on 16 August 2018 regarding the breach of condition 21 and options available to me for decision. DMIRS had previously issued a direction to modify to the tenement holders on 24 November 2017 to improve dust management, which was actioned by the tenement holders.

(2) Section 97 of the Mining Act 1978 permits the minister to impose a penalty of up to $150 000 on a company for a breach of tenement condition. DMIRS' resource and environmental compliance enforcement panel determined the breach justified a penalty, with the penalty being at the discretion of the minister. Based on the information provided to the minister by DMIRS, which included factors that led to the breach, the minister chose to impose a penalty of $40 000.

(3) DMIRS has a long established practice of not disclosing the specific royalty payments of individual companies. The royalty rate is calculated at 2.5 per cent of the royalty value of the gold metal produced.

(4) With respect to forfeiture 536709 on M31/284 relating to noncompliance with royalty provisions, DMIRS has issued only a notice of intent to forfeit in accordance with regulation 50 of the Mining Regulations 1981. DMIRS is still in the process of determining whether a penalty will be imposed for late royalty payment in accordance with established procedures.