Some countries around the world have recently introduced mining and environmental legislative reform. The reforms have typically been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
More recently, both small businesses and big businesses were impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. Extensive lockdowns, uncertainty about the future, health concerns, some inability to proceed with international trade, and changes to the way consumers spend their time and money, has impacted the success of many companies.
In fact, many industries in countries around the world are still facing a downfall as a result of the pandemic. Although the widespread use of a vaccine sounds promising, it is not known how long it will take for the global economy to recover.
Mining is one area that has been impacted to an extent by the pandemic. Because international trade has been restricted, many countries have been limited to their own mineral resources. It has encouraged a need for mineral production locally and motivated country leaders to increase local mining projects to avoid future reliance on foreign trade.
However, the pandemic was not the only factor characterising 2020 with discussions around the impacts of climate change and required actions to mitigate those impacts ongoing. Many regions also faced environmental challenges related to climate change. Instead of making mining and land use projects easier to obtain, some global leaders have shifted the opposite way and aimed to apply further restrictions and regulations on mining work to ensure it is environmentally appropriate and adhering to the country’s overall climate change approach.
Countries who have recently undertaken mining reform include the United States, Canada and Indonesia. Most notably in the United States, there have been efforts to reduce dependence on overseas minerals and bolster the American mining and metals sector. In Canada, a ban on a specific open-pit coal mine has been reversed to stop an economic downturn. In Indonesia, processes for licensing have been streamlined and other regulations have been addressed.
Here is a summary as to why some countries are making changes to mining legislation:
The regulatory framework relating to mining and exploration in Australia is continually changing. Although some mining laws over previous years and decades have introduced controls to mining projects (often to provide critical protection to environmental sensitivities including Aboriginal heritage and biodiversity), more recent laws (brought about by the pandemic) are clearly aiming to strengthen our mining sector.
In Australia, the regulatory framework for mining operations is split between State and Federal Governments. Arguably, most states in the country have introduced policy or legislative reform in response to the pandemic in an effort to facilitate investment in local mining and exploration projects and by extension boost the state and national economies.
These are just some of the changes we have seen recently relating to mining and environmental regulations:
The team at Hetherington are always abreast of changes to mining legislation and environmental legislation in Australia and across the globe. As mining lawyers, environmental consultants and tenement consultant it is essential that we can understand and interpret any Government changes relating to the mining industry. We are committed to supporting our clients (including mining companies and other stakeholders) and helping them navigate the complexities of legislation and legislative reforms.
We provide expertise in a range of technical mining law matters, including: land access arrangement, development approval, land tenure, native title, mineral exploration approval, mine rehabilitation, extension of time, extension of term, mining operations plans, program of work (POW), exploration reporting, tenement compliance, development consent and more.
To discover more about our services or get help with tenement, contact us on 02 9967 4844 (Sydney), 08 9228 9977 (Perth), or 07 3236 1768 (Brisbane).