MMWC Group recently attended the Chamber of Minerals & Energy “Land Access” quarterly Committee meeting. There were several issues that we feel are worthy of advising you about. Mr Ivor Roberts - Director Mineral Titles attended the meeting and passed on the following: 

  1. That in the next few months the requirement to seek authorisation to explore for iron will be removed.
  2. That as at 1 July 2016 the requirement to lodge all documentation online will be compulsory. There will be very few compliance actions that cannot be done online, e.g., application for Miners Right will still have to be done across the counter. At present there is no provision for lodging documents over the counter after 1 July.

This obviously raised a few concerns one of which was the contingency plan when and if the DMP website crashed or was unavailable, or a Telstra outage created a problem with internet access. As we know many leave it to the last day to lodge documents with DMP, especially Extensions of Term, Exemptions from Expenditure & Form5’s. 

Would a tenement be lost if access was unavailable and the subsequent result was that a tenement expired or was forfeited because of it?

We were advised that if no online access was to occur we should get ourselves down to the DMP office and either access their computer at the counter (which might also not be operational) or discuss the problem with the counter staff and “something” would be worked out. There was very little sympathy, in fact the reply intimated that industry people know full well what’s required and the timing associated, and should do so well in advance.

This obviously means that everyone needs to be mindful of providing information to us in a timely manner and NOT on the last day. DMP contends that the system is not perfect andit may in fact never happen, but there is no safety net provided if on the last day access to the DMP on-line system is not available. We must allow some margin for error in our procedures. No one wants to do an emergency trip to the DMP office on a Friday afternoon at 4pm.

We also strongly suggest that if it is your intention to lodge your own Annual & Combined Reports online, as will be the case for everyone from 1 July, that you start doing so now already. If there are problems then they can be resolved during this period before 1 July.