Most people in the community may have never heard of the Independent Planning Commission (IPC), however individuals and companies in the mining, environment and exploration industry are likely to have a deep understanding of their work as it directly impacts the initiation of mining projects across New South Wales.
The Independent Planning Commission state that they are an independent agency who have been established to “build community confidence” and consider public opinion in the decision-making processes for major development and land-use plans. As a standalone agency, separate to the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment, they are responsible for applying large scrutiny to all major developments in their state.
Essentially, the purpose of the commission is to identify significant development applications that may have strong opposition from the public, conduct public hearings regarding these development applications, and provide advice to relevant Government bodies in relation to controversial or significant development plans.
The IPC typically investigates the development and land-use applications that have either: 50 or more public objections to the application; a reportable political donation association with the project; objection from the local Council. There are specific processes undertaken by the commission when assessing an application and, in many cases, a public meeting is conducted to allow the commission to hear the community’s view on the works.
In the case of a project being identified and examined by the IPC, it’s important that the corporations submitting the application acquire advice from a specialised mining law and tenement management firm to help them through the process. As an applicant, you have merit appeal rights. It is also beneficial to have an expert team guide you through the multi-stage public hearing process if this becomes necessary. Most correspondence to the IPC during this time will become a formal record, so it’s essential that you seek advice from mining lawyers and tenement management specialists to understand the best strategies for communication.
What licences and approvals do companies need to get to proceed with mining operations in Australia?
Whether your operations receive attention from the IPC or not, all mining and exploration projects must obtain relevant Government approvals before work can proceed. Being successful in these applications requires great knowledge of mining and environment law, plus an ability to liaise with the Government bodies and navigate the technicalities of the process. Hence, many corporations choose to work with mining law experts, like Hetherington, to get the job done.
Depending on the nature of your project and works you wish to undertake, there are a range of licences and approvals that may be relevant to you. There are many different types of exploration and mining that can be undertaken, and all have specific processes associated with them. You may also need to complete other applications throughout your project to renew, extend or forfeit your original tenements and approvals. Just some of these legal areas to consider include:
Throughout the period of tenement, you may need to provide certain reports and information to demonstrate your tenement compliance. These may include:
Many of these technical approvals require an in-depth and multi-faceted understanding of both general legal matters relating to the mining and exploration industry, and the Independent Planning Commission. Most individuals in the mining and environmental industry do not know the technical details of how to get a tenement, how to get an exploration licence or how to get a mining lease, so quality advice is essential. There may also be tenement application fees and charges for licences as each process is undertaken.
Thankfully, there are mining lawyers and environmental consultants, like us at Hetherington, who can help with the technical processes and support you in achieving a desirable outcome. We are proud to have worked with many large corporations in the mining industry to provide help with tenements and other legal matters surrounding their mining operations.
The team at Hetherington have been providing high quality services and expertise in the resources industry within Australia and the Asia-Pacific region for more than 30 years. Our specialists are highly experienced and qualified in all aspects of tenement management for mining and exploration works.
We have three offices based in major cities across the country – Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. To get in touch with our team, learn more about our services, or get started on your tenement, you can contact us on 02 9967 4844 (Sydney), 08 9228 9977 (Perth), or 07 3236 1768 (Brisbane).