Do you intend to object to a new tenement application over your existing licence? Or has someone objected to your tenement application?
Both of these occurrences are common in the Australian mining and resources sector. Both mining and exploration licences are frequently objected to on both valid and invalid grounds.
The objection process is facilitated by the notification process whereby the mining application is brought to the attention of relevant stakeholders.
The process of raising an objection, what happens after an objection is raised, how to best respond to an objection, how to try to keep an objection out of court, and how to effectively argue your case, all vary based on your state and territory jurisdiction, the resource being mined or explored for, the type of application and other various factors.
This complexity underlines the need for legal expertise, and also makes it impossible to talk in a uniform way about mining tenement objections across the entire Australian mining and resources context. Instead, national mining lawyers such as Hetherington will narrow in on objections to tenement applications in Western Australia.
You have 35 days from the date of lodgement to file an objection with the Officer of the Warden’s Court of WA. If the new tenement application is over your existing licence, then the fact that the new grant of application will interfere with your existing tenure will form the basis of your objection.
This objection process must follow specific protocols on specifically designated paperwork. Given the complexity of the process and articulating the specific reasons for your objections, you may seek to gain the legal advice of mining lawyers such as Hetherington Legal.
Typically your objection will need to be heard before a Warden during court proceedings. The determination of the objection will influence the application’s granting or refusal. The Warden will be responsible for the decision-making around prospecting licences and miscellaneous licences and will make recommendations to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum in cases of exploration licences, mining leases, and certain other leases.
You have two options if someone has objected to your tenement application in Western Australia. The first is to seek a private negotiation with the objector, that is, a medication process, which may itself be instigated by the courts. The second is to defend the objection during a hearing in the Warden’s Court if the issue cannot be solved outside of the courts.
It is worth noting as well, that if the objection is by a private landholder, they can lodge their objection within 21 days of being served with a copy of the notice.
Both negotiation and court proceedings require expertise and can benefit from an independent perspective, which is why many people contract a mining lawyer, such as Hetherington Legal, to manage these processes for them.
If someone has successfully objected to your mining application, there may still be recourse. As an applicant to the tenement, you may be able to appeal the decision following the outlined processes and procedures. The stakes are very high at this point and legal representation is recommended for a successful outcome.
If your application is not objected to, you are off to a propitious start. However, before the granting of the application, other matters – such as Native Title clearance – must first be determined.
Mining lawyers such as Hetherington Legal are often relied upon to deliver representation and negotiation services for Native Title matters as they pertain to mining and exploration projects within the Australian mining and resources sector.
Once other requirements have been met your application for an exploration licence, mining lease, general lease or retention lease will be referred to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum with a recommendation from the Mining Registrar.
A professional mining lawyer can provide high-quality advice on the application objection process, whether you are objecting to an application, or your application has been objected to. They can also represent you during negotiations or in court to facilitate a successful outcome.
Hetherington offers a range of services and can be separated into our interconnected businesses, Hetherington Legal, Hetherington Environmental and Hetherington Tenements.
We can partner with mining and exploration companies in our capacity as environmental consultants, mining lawyers, tenement consultants, and a tenement management company, and offer advice and technical support across mine work health and safety, your program of work, tenement management, and tenement compliance.
For more information on our services, contact your closest office: