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Resources

Our experienced Resources legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. From environmental reforms in the mining industry, to the new Commonwealth regime for environmental assessment of projects, read about the changes sweeping the vast resources sector. If you'd like to be notified when we add new resources publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about Allens' extensive experience in the resources industry.

Resources Publications

  • Focus: China's business regulatory approval reforms - further steps to market liberalisation

    1 April 2014

    In brief: The PRC Government is reforming its corporate regulatory approval processes at an unprecedented rate. The changes are aimed at facilitating private sector investment (including foreign direct investment) in order to move towards a more market-driven economy. Over the past four months, new regulations have reduced and, in certain cases, removed, corporate regulatory approval requirements for a range of business activities and investments. As part of these reforms, changes have also been made to the PRC Company Law and associated regulations. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Lawyer Shona Shang look at the key changes.

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  • Focus: New Regional Planning Interests regime adopted for resources activities in Queensland

    28 March 2014

    Queensland has a new planning approval process for resources activities and 'regulated activities' in areas of regional interest, following the passage of landmark legislation. The new approvals regime may have implications for existing and future resource projects. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associates Michael Zissis and Gobind Kalsi review the new legislation and the next steps.

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  • Focus: Queensland reviews mining lease objection process and land access regime

    26 March 2014

    As part of its ongoing initiative to reduce red tape and streamline application and approval processes for the resources industry, the Queensland Government has released two discussion papers simultaneously proposing amendments to the objection regime for mining leases and also to the regulation of 'restricted land' as it affects all resource authorities (including petroleum tenements). If all of the changes proposed in the discussion paper are implemented, it will affect who can object to mining leases in the future. The changes would also standardise the restricted land provisions across all resources authorities, but, at the same time, introduce advantages for some tenement holders in relation to land access. Partners Ben Zillmann and Bill McCredie consider the issues and the changes that might be made.

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  • Client Update: Changes recommended to the Regional Planning Interests Bill

    19 March 2014

    The Queensland State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee has recommended aspects of the Regional Planning Interests Bill 2013 be amended. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Michael Zissis outline the committee's key recommendations and the next steps towards the implementation of the new approvals regime for resource activities in 'areas of regional interest' in Queensland.

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  • Client Update: High Court rules mining leases and native title can co-exist

    13 March 2014

    Yesterday, the High Court ruled that certain mining leases in Western Australia did not extinguish all native title rights, but rather the mining rights and native title rights co-exist. In doing so, the High Court took the opportunity to clarify the test for determining when native title rights will be extinguished by statutory grants at common law. Partners Ben Zillmann and Marshall McKenna look at the findings of the court and the implications of the case.

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  • Client Update: Streamlining the regulation of environmental offsets in Queensland

    25 February 2014

    Legislation recently introduced into the Queensland Parliament will establish a new regime for the provision and regulation of environmental offsets in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Lawyer Julieane Bull report on the key changes and identify some matters yet to be addressed.

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  • Client Update: Mongolia's new State Minerals Policy

    17 February 2014

    The Mongolian Parliament has adopted a new State Minerals Policy, which will serve as the basis for amendments to the existing Minerals Law and other laws relating to the mining sector. Partners Igor Bogdanich and David Wenger and Senior Associates John Koshy and Tserena Yumjav look at what the new Minerals Policy will mean.

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  • Client Update: Indonesia implements export ban on ore

    21 January 2014

    In a move intended to add value for Indonesia by requiring that the processing and refining of mineral commodities be conducted there, the Government has issued new regulations implementing in-country processing requirements for mineral commodities (excluding coal), including a ban on the export of unprocessed ore. Partner David Holme and Senior Associates Brooke Van Gils and Made Satwika report.

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  • Focus: Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper released

    10 January 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Green Paper on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund. Partner Grant Anderson reports on this proposed centrepiece of the Government's Direct Action Plan.

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  • Client Update: New offshore petroleum application fees

    15 November 2013

    Participants in the oil and gas sector in Australia should be aware that registration fees payable for the approval and registration of transfers and dealings relating to offshore petroleum titles have been replaced with fixed application fees. Partners Anthony Patten and Mark McAleer and Lawyer Anne Nguyen provide an overview of the new application fees regime.

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  • Client Update: New changes confirm validity of mining leases

    14 November 2013

    As a result of recent legal challenges to the validity of mining leases, the NSW Parliament has passed amendments that mean a development for 'mining purposes' can be sufficient to support the grant of a mining lease for minerals. However, this does not change the requirement that, in order to undertake mining on any part of a mining lease, the leaseholder must have a development consent that permits mineral extraction from that area. Partners Paul Lalich and Jim Parker and Lawyer Patricia Abordo report.

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  • Client Update: Resource significance the new focus in assessment of NSW mining proposals

    8 November 2013

    The NSW Government has amended the State policy governing the assessment of mining proposals, to place economic benefits and resource significance at the centre of the assessment process, and establish clear environmental and amenity criteria for mining projects. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Michael Zissis and Lawyer Naomi Bergman report on the amendments, which have been introduced following the controversial Land and Environment Court decision on the Warkworth mine extension in the Hunter Valley.

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  • Focus: New traditional owner negotiation requirements for central Victoria

    1 November 2013

    The Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement has commenced operation, creating a new negotiation framework for activities on public land in central Victoria. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell explore the implications.

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  • Client Update: Mining v agriculture - new regional plans and strategic cropping land review report released

    25 October 2013

    The first regional plans for Central Queensland and the Darling Downs have been made, 'to resolve competing state interests relating to the agricultural and resources sectors'. The Queensland Government has also released a report on its review of the State's 'strategic cropping land' framework. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Philip Murray and Senior Associate Michael Zissis review the regional plans and SCL review report, what detail is still to come and the implications, particularly for the resources sector.

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  • Focus: New oversight mechanism for private military and security companies

    17 October 2013

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of private military and security companies by corporations that have operations in conflict affected areas. Recently, the first multi-stakeholder initiative has been established to provide an oversight mechanism for the compliance of private military and security companies with international law and industry standards. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Alyse Richmond report.

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  • Client Update: Queensland's uranium mining action plan

    13 September 2013

    The Queensland Government has released its action plan for recommencement of uranium mining, with the aim of lease applications being assessed from July 2014. Partner Richard Malcolmson and Senior Associates Anna Vella and John Hedge report on the plan's recommendations.

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  • Focus: High Court upholds validity of the MRRT

    13 August 2013

    The High Court has dismissed Fortescue Metals Group's challenge to the constitutional validity of the Commonwealth minerals resource rent tax. Partner Katrina Parkyn and Lawyer Scott Lang discuss the High Court's decision and the implications it has for the interaction between Commonwealth and state taxes generally.

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  • Client Update: Queensland streamlines processes for taking security over mining and petroleum interests

    22 July 2013

    Recent Queensland legislation reforms the way financiers effect security over mining and petroleum interests. Instead of having to apply for Ministerial approval or lodge caveats, the law now allows financiers to electronically lodge and register mortgages over 'mining tenements' and 'petroleum authorities' with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Partner Karla Fraser and Law Graduate Riley Downie report.

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  • Focus: Proposed reorientation of EFIC's role and the impact on project and infrastructure financing transactions.

    16 July 2013

    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee has tabled in the Senate its committee report recommending new legislation that, if enacted, will reorient the role of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation towards supporting exports by small and medium business enterprises and, otherwise, towards addressing 'market failures' that may impede Australian exporters. The legislation will also increase EFIC's power to provide assistance to foreign subsidiaries of Australian-based SMEs. Partner Phillip Cornwell, Special Counsel Debra Counsell and Lawyer Amy Cashman report.

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  • Focus: Are you rehabilitation-fund ready?

    28 June 2013

    The Western Australian mining rehabilitation fund is about to come into effect. It will replace the existing regime of unconditional performance bonds, with significant implications for tenement holders. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Lawyer Peter Jensen report.

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  • Focus: Key changes to working conditions for offshore oil and gas projects

    3 June 2013

    A proposed amendment to Australia's migration legislation seeks to ensure that foreign offshore oil and gas workers will require a 457 visa and be subject to Australian employment law. If this change is made, owners and operators of offshore oil and gas projects will need to ensure they and their contractors are aware of, and comply with, their obligations regarding visas and the application of Australian employment laws. The proposed amendment will also most likely increase the scope for union activity on these projects. Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell reports.

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  • Focus: Proposed changes to national access regime

    31 May 2013

    The Productivity Commission has released a draft report of its review of Australia's national access regime, which supports the retention of the regime but recommends a number of significant changes to its legal framework. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Partner Ted Hill report.

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  • Focus: 2013 Budget - amendments to deduction for mining rights and information

    16 May 2013

    The Federal Government's proposed amendments to the immediate deduction for the cost of mining rights and information first used in exploration might be viewed as a disproportionate response to its concern that the section is being applied inappropriately in certain instances. Partner Martin Fry and Lawyer Claire Nicholson explain.

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  • Focus: Softening the investment rules in Mongolia

    23 April 2013

    Foreign investment in Mongolia fell away dramatically after the Mongolian Government last year introduced laws regulating foreign investment into strategically important business areas as well as investment by state-owned entities. Now the Government has introduced amendments which soften some of those restrictions in an effort to again encourage inbound capital. Partner David Wenger and Lawyer Anthony Lepere look at the amendments and their significance to foreign investors.

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  • Client Update: New uranium mine approved in Western Australia

    3 April 2013

    The Federal Government has approved the first uranium mine in Western Australia, representing a step forward in the future direction of uranium mining in Australia. The approval of the Wiluna Project, subject to a number of conditions, comes at a time of increasing interest in Australia's uranium mining sector. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Mark McAleer look at the approval in more detail.

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  • Client Update: Providing greater investor certainty in Mongolia

    21 March 2013

    There are reports that the Mongolian Government is considering amending its controversial Law on Regulation of Foreign Investment in Business Entities Operating in Sectors of Strategic Importance (colloquially known as the Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law) to make Mongolia a more attractive destination for private inbound investment. Partners David Wenger and Igor Bogdanich, Senior Associate John Koshy and Lawyer Manduul Altangerel report.

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  • Client Update: The recommended framework for uranium mining in Queensland

    19 March 2013

    The recommencement of uranium mining in Queensland is one step closer with the release of recommendations by the state's uranium mining implementation committee. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associates John Hedge and Anna Vella report on the recommendations.

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  • Focus: Security of payment - the 'mining exclusion' considered again!

    22 February 2013

    The Queensland Court of Appeal has again taken a narrow interpretation of the 'mining exclusion' under Queensland security of payments legislation. Partner Ren Niemann and Lawyer Goran Gelic report on this decision and its implications.

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  • Client Update: Resource industry operators - are you ready for the Greentape Reduction Act?

    14 February 2013

    New environmental legislation that will soon come into force in Queensland will have implications for the resources industry. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Michael Zissis and Lawyer Gobind Kalsi report on the key changes to the approval regime that will affect the assessment timeframes for new projects and expansions to existing projects.

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  • Client Update: The changing environment of uranium mining

    18 December 2012

    As longstanding bans on uranium mining are being relaxed and lifted across many Australian jurisdictions, our uranium specialists summarise the current Federal regulatory framework that controls its exploration and extraction.

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  • Focus: Major changes to WA mining law

    12 December 2012

    In brief: Legislation introducing important changes to West Australian mining law, including amendments to allow mining on Commonwealth land, has received Royal Assent. Partner Marshall McKenna, Lawyer Rachel Joseph and Law Clerk Stephanie Babic report.

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  • Client Update: Changes to WA mining regulations

    4 December 2012

    Participants in the Western Australian mining industry should be aware of important changes to that State's mining regulations. Partner Gerard Woods and Lawyer Anne Nguyen examine the key features of the amended regulations.

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  • Client Update: Strong interest in NSW uranium exploration

    22 November 2012

    There has been strong interest in uranium exploration tenements in New South Wales, and the State Government has indicated the ban on uranium mining may be lifted in due course. Partner Richard Malcolmson and Senior Associates John Hedge and Anna Vella report on both the emerging NSW uranium sector and other developments nationally.

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  • Focus: Security of payment - the 'mining exclusion' under the microscope

    19 November 2012

    The mining and construction industries have received mixed messages after the Queenland Court of Appeal adopted a narrow interpretation of the 'mining exclusion' under the state's building and construction industry payments legislation.

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  • Focus: Significant projects and Infrastructure facilities in Queensland - Proposed changes to the approval process and the powers of the Coordinator-General

    14 November 2012

    In brief: Proponents and operators of major projects in Queensland need to be aware of important proposed changes that will impact upon the assessment and approval process for 'significant projects' and 'infrastructure facilities of significance', and the disposal of land in State Development Areas. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Anna Vella and Lawyer Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Focus: Myanmar's new foreign investment law

    7 November 2012

    International investors have welcomed the news that Myanmar's new Foreign Investment Law has been approved and is now in force. In this article, members of our Myanmar team (Partners Marae Ciantar and Stuart Bedford, and Lawyer Mostyn Taylor) provide an overview of the new foreign investment regime and its implications for foreign investors.

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  • Client Update: Uranium mining ban lifted in Queensland

    24 October 2012

    Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman has announced that Queensland has overturned its long-standing ban on uranium mining. Senior Associate John Hedge reports on the change in policy and the consequences for development of uranium projects in Queensland.

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  • Focus: Significant changes proposed to native title legislation

    16 October 2012

    Significant native title reforms largely focus on further encouraging the agreement-making processes to obtain native title holders' consent for projects/developments, through changes to the 'right to negotiate' regime (including requiring parties to meet detailed 'good faith' criteria) and changes to Indigenous Land Use Agreement processes. Allens native title specialists Partners Ben Zillmann and Marshall McKenna and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell examine the proposed changes.

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  • Focus: Fortescue 'binding agreements' announcements were not misleading

    3 October 2012

    In a decision handed down yesterday, the High Court unanimously held that Fortescue Metals Group Ltd's announcements to the ASX and media in 2004 stating it had reached 'binding agreements' with Chinese State-owned entities to build infrastructure in the Pilbara were not misleading despite the 'agreements' being substantially incomplete and not being legally enforceable in Australia. Partners Richard Harris, Jeremy Low, Senior Associate Andrew Byrne and Lawyer Alice Dillon comment on the decision and its implications for listed companies and directors.

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  • Client Update: LNG supplementary assistance

    2 October 2012

    The Federal Government has made regulations for the calculation of the 'top up' assistance, in the form of free carbon units, that is to be given in respect of LNG projects. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Client Update: Uranium back on the agenda in Queensland

    25 September 2012

    The Queensland resources minister has signalled the reopening of the debate on uranium mining in Queensland and the potential overturn of the existing policy against uranium mining. Senior Associate John Hedge reports on the possible change in policy and the consequences for investment in uranium projects in that state.

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  • Client Update: Changes to reserves and resources disclosure rules

    24 September 2012

    Proposed new disclosure rules will affect the way mining and oil and gas companies report on their reserves and resources. The proposals seek to strike a balance between providing meaningful information to investors about listed entities' reserves and resources assets while managing compliance costs for listed companies. Partner Ted Hill and Lawyer Lachlan Clancy report.

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  • Client Update: New Mongolia Government to release action plan

    21 September 2012

    The new Mongolian Government's action plan, expected to be released within the next few weeks, will have implications for Mongolia's development over the next four years, particularly its ability to continue to attract foreign investment. Partners David Wenger and Igor Bogdanich and Senior Associate John Koshy report.

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  • Focus: Historic High Court decision in Pilbara rail access dispute

    21 September 2012

    The High Court has handed down its decision regarding FMG's application to have Rio Tinto's Pilbara rail lines declared subject to open access, referring the matter back to the Tribunal to redecide according to law. In doing so, the court has clarified the meaning of some of the criteria for declaration and, most importantly, decided that infrastructure should not be declared if it is privately profitable for anyone to duplicate it. Partner Ted Hill and Lawyer Rosannah Healy report.

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  • Focus: More red tape for NSW farmers and miners

    21 September 2012

    The long-awaited New South Wales Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, which aims to protect Strategic Agricultural Land, has been released, with some significant differences from the original draft. Partner David Maloney and Law Graduate Tom Griffin report.

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  • Focus: New conflict minerals and extractive sector payments rules

    21 September 2012

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted new rules requiring companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals which originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country and to disclose payments made to the US Government or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or other minerals. Special Counsel Debra Counsell, Lawyer Dora Banyasz and Law Graduate Sheree Rubinstein, report.

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  • Focus: New Port Hedland vessel movement protocols

    29 August 2012

    Changes to vessel movement protocols in Port Hedland mean port users with annual capacity entitlements will have to use those entitlements evenly throughout the year or risk losing some of their capacity to iron ore producers. Partner Jodi Reinmuth, Senior Associate Mark McAleer and Law Graduate Anthony Graham report on the revised protocols that are likely to have a significant impact in the competitive landscape for iron ore exporters.

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  • Focus: More nations ease sanctions against Myanmar

    23 August 2012

    We recently reported on the easing of US sanctions against Myanmar. In this follow up article, we report on changes to the Australian, EU and Canadian sanctions against Myanmar. Allens Partner Anthony Patten, Linklaters Partner Satindar Dogra and Allens Law Graduate Laura Bellamy provide a brief overview of the changes to these sanctions regimes.

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  • Focus: Changes to WA mining rehabilitation regime

    21 August 2012

    Legislation was recently introduced into the Western Australian Parliament to reform the State's system of mining securities. If passed, the legislation will largely replace the existing regime of unconditional performance bonds with a State-wide rehabilitation fund. Partner Jodi Reinmuth, Senior Associate Jessica Ham and Lawyer Peter Jensen look at the new proposal that is intended to deal with the escalating costs of operators defaulting on mine site closure and rehabilitation obligations.

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  • Focus: Streamlining resources legislation in Queensland

    9 August 2012

    As part of its Streamlining Approvals Project, the Queensland Government has introduced new legislation to address a range of issues arising in the resources sector. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate Tracey Davern and Lawyers Giselle Kilvert and Caitlin Wilson look at the new Bill in detail and its proposed amendments to the State's resources legislation.

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