HETHERINGTON TENEMENTS

Tenements are a crucial yet highly technical and complex aspect of project success. At Hetherington, we like to build strong and ongoing relationships with our clients, so you can continue returning to us whenever you need to acquire a tenement, alter conditions of a tenure, or seek advice regarding tenement management.

As well as being essential to the initial approval of a project, tenements form the foundation for which all operations are carried out. To secure and maintain your tenure, it’s vital that you adhere to faultless management of tenements and meet all compliance standards associated with the conditions of the title. Hetherington will guide you through these complexities.

WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?

When it comes to tenement management, our expert team have the knowledge and experience to help you at every stage of the process. We can handle all the complexities so your project can obtain the green light as soon as possible.

Tenements, along with relevant environmental and planning approvals, serve as the foundational right under which all operations are carried out. Put simply, exploration or extraction of minerals cannot occur in any Australian jurisdiction without an authorisation. Hetherington excels in securing and maintaining those authorisations. The tenement management services offered by Hetherington include applications for grant, renewal and transfer of mineral tenements, administration of tenement interests, compliance management and management of ancillary approvals and permits. The team at Hetherington understands that security of tenure through stringent management of tenements and compliance with conditions of title is paramount to ensuring the overall security of a project.

Australia is host to numerous highly prospective and sought-after geological provinces. Without an understanding of the underlying regulatory landscape, securing mineral tenements in these areas is often a combination of good timing and luck. Hetherington’s ground monitoring services ensure that clients are informed of newly vacant land through a detailed understanding the relevant regulatory processes in different jurisdictions. We have successfully secured entire tenement portfolios for our clients through our dedicated ground monitoring services. Importantly, the service extends to expert advice to navigate clients through the grant process and ongoing support thereafter.

Lodgement of legally valid applications for grant or renewal of tenements is critical to safeguarding the ongoing security of tenure of any exploration or mining operation. Other common dealings, including transfers, registration of interests, exemptions and forfeitures similarly require diligence and expertise to protect assets.

Submission of a geologically sound exploration or work program can be critical to enabling the grant or renewal of a tenement. It is also important that exploration programs are balanced and satisfy relevant administrative requirements, particularly for tenement portfolios spanning multiple jurisdictions and tenure types. Hetherington provides expert advice to ensure exploration programs and work programs strike the correct balance between achieving effective exploration and satisfying the relevant administrative framework.

Joint venture agreements and other commercial arrangements are common in exploration and mining projects. It is critical that agreements clearly set out the roles and responsibilities of the parties within the context of the relevant legislative framework. Hetherington and Hetherington Legal are able to provide tailored advice in relation to any commercial arrangement to ensure that the underlying tenements are safeguarded over the term of any joint venture agreement.

Hetherington are experts in acquiring tenure and early identification of potential impediments to the exercise of rights in target areas. These skills transfer to providing support throughout acquisition processes when identification of material issues within a tenement holding are critical to the success and value of potential transaction. This advice, supplemented by Hetherington Legal and Hetherington Environmental is becoming increasingly important as issues such as conflicting land use, environmental and heritage constraints and land access become more prevalent across all Australian jurisdictions.

Legislation, regulations, guidelines, codes of practice, policies, forms, the list goes on. All jurisdictions have them and there are sometimes subtle, sometimes major differences between the framework in each jurisdiction. Consideration of the long term permissibility of a project is becoming increasingly important at the early stages of resources projects. Hetherington has extensive experience in navigating the regulatory frameworks across all Australian jurisdictions and is uniquely placed to provide timely, effective, and highly valuable strategic and operational advice in relation to mineral tenements at every stage of a project. Whether it be conflicting tenures over a specific area of land or the timing for lodgement of a Mining Lease Application and potential implications on existing agreements, Native Title or neighbouring operations, we can help.

Effective and timely consultation with Government, industry and community stakeholders is being increasingly recognised as a critical component of successful exploration and mining projects across all jurisdictions. The team at Hetherington have extensive experience in liaising with relevant Government and other external stakeholders on behalf of our clients throughout the life of a tenement.

The cancellation of a tenement is a critical step in the life of a resources project. Tenements are granted subject to a variety of conditions, many of which relate to the final landform and rehabilitation status of the underlying land once operations have ceased and the tenement is relinquished. Satisfying these obligations is key to maintaining a social licence to operate and reputation as a responsible operator. Depending on the jurisdiction, the tenement cancellation process may involve environmental due diligence, as well as the administrative process under relevant mining legislation.

Tenements are valuable assets and critical to the success of a project. Any transfer or other dealing impacting tenement should therefore be approached with diligence to protect the interests of the registered holder, as well as any party claiming an interest in the tenement. A comprehensive understanding of the overarching administrative processes involved is therefore critical in ensuring these dealings are completed validly and without impacting operations.

Exploration reports, technical reports, expenditure reports and activity reports are just some of the names given to the annual reports required to be submitted in relation to tenements across Australia. The form, content and name of these reports vary depending on the type of tenement and jurisdiction. At the same time submission of compliant reports is critical to ensuring tenements remain in good standing. Hetherington’s team of tenement consultants can assist in the preparation and lodgement of all types of statutory reports in accordance with relevant regulatory requirements.

A social licence to operate is an incredibly important component to exploration and mining operations and an operator is generally not permitted to exercise rights under a tenement without some form of landowner consent or access agreement. Successful negotiation of access and compensation agreements begins before a tenement is granted and should continue for the life of an operation. We assist with all stages of the process, including initial landowner consultation, drafting and negotiation of access agreements and, if necessary, representation during mediation and arbitration.

Tenement management is import. Knowing a tenement has been maintained in good standing is therefore critical when considering whether to purchase an interest in the tenement or wider project. Our services include tenement due diligence for a range of situations. Whether it be acquisition of existing mining operations or new exploration projects, our understanding of tenements, tenement obligations and tenement management allows us to identify material issues promptly and efficiently to allow you to make informed decisions about your current or future tenement portfolio.

Share market listings can often be busy and highly stressful periods where the listing party is focused on ensuring all corporate and listing requirements are complied with. In our experience, companies benefit from engaging experienced contractors to assist in the process. As critical components to any exploration or mining project, tenements represent an important component of any prospectus. Hetherington’s team of qualified consultants are familiar with relevant Government registers and databases and are well placed to provide time and cost-effective support to listing parties when preparing VALMIN Code compliant reports for prospectus reports.

KEY CONTACTS

david salim
David Salim
Company Principal

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ben muscat
Ben Muscat
Principal Consultant

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tamara woods
Tamara Woods
Executive Consultant

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sara
Sara Winton
Senior Associate

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