Mining is a multi-faceted industry, with many specialised fields of knowledge. A company can specialise in one aspect of mining, but it remains important to take a holistic view to ensure long-term success.
Our tenement management company regularly encounters and works with mining companies that have a profitable future in sight, who don’t want to be held back by the complexities of mining law and environmental law.
For this reason, our mining tenement managers and environmental consultants have decided to put their heads together in this blog, to clarify the role of mining lawyers, and to highlight their importance in ensuring viable mining projects that deliver over the long term.
Broadly speaking, mining law refers to all the laws governing mining in Australia, both in terms of exploration and extraction. These laws and policies may be specific to mining or more general, just as they may be local, state-based, or at a federal level.
All laws are legislated with a purpose in mind. When it comes to mining, some of the main reasons behind the law include:
However, if approached by an experienced WA mining lawyer or tenement management company, Australian mining laws also contain provisions that protect the mining company themselves, not just those outside of the company.
The best mining lawyers make local, state or federal mining laws work for the mining company, while ensuring they are environmentally compliant and meeting their legal obligations to the community and the government. They can tap into laws that:
These are just a few of the benefits of contracting a specialist mining lawyer to assist with mine work health and safety, your program of work, environmental law, or other aspects of mining in Australia.
Part of the role of a mining lawyer centres on obtaining and maintaining tenements, licenses and approvals for the mining companies they represent. This necessity is built into the regulatory framework, with tenement and approval requirements being tied to legislation. The application process allows the relevant authorities, typically government bodies, to evaluate the risk to benefit ratio of mining projects, and to permit them to go ahead or reject them accordingly.
Tenement applications, including Exploration Licence Applications and Mining Lease Applications, can be highly technical and time-consuming processes. A valid tenement application requires an intimate understanding of the ins and outs of localised mining legislation, a track record of understanding what types of applications are successful, and an awareness of all factors which may possibly impact regulatory outcomes and security of tenure.
A quality mining lawyer provides strategic advice through the application process and will be able to advise on the likelihood of success or failure. They can represent a mining company throughout the application process to increase the likelihood of success, as one of the principle skills of a mining lawyer is the ability to negotiate for a fair outcome, including in Warden’s court if necessary.
Just as importantly, a mining lawyer can help to reduce the risk of liability. A mining operation carries inherent risk and it is important that risks are properly accounted for within any application and the terms of granted tenement and associated approvals to adequately protect the company and ensure longevity of their operations.
A mining lawyer will help a mining company to establish the legal parameters of their operations, so that they can confidently undertake extraction and exploration, knowing where their legal rights extend to and where they stop.
Hetherington mining lawyers offer a comprehensive suite of services across the entirety of mining projects, which complement Hetherington’s tenement management services. Our range of services includes assistance with acquisitions, decommissioning, , regulations, corporate responsibility, remediation, and project planning, just to name a few of the aspects of mining law we specialise in here at Hetherington.
If your mining operations could benefit from a client-first legal team specialising in mining law in every state and territory, including WA tenement management and WA mining law, NT mining law, Victorian mining law and South Australian mining law, please do not hesitate to contact Hetherington mining lawyers today. We are just a call away on 02 9967 4844 (Sydney) or 08 9228 9977 (Perth).