Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the reforms would strengthen Queensland’s mining sector and aid in the state’s post-COVID economic recovery.

“These reforms are about ensuring the right people and companies hold mining leases in Queensland so we see more jobs created,” Dr Lynham said.

“They also act as insurance for Queensland taxpayers by reducing the risk of mines being disclaimed.

“People can now be disqualified from being granted or transferred a mining lease if they have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or have a history of insolvency or bankruptcy.

“Large mineral mines, including gold, copper and zinc mines, will now need a development plan showing a set timeline for when and how they plan to develop a mine and grow jobs.

“In Queensland, the people who operate mines must be of good character, have a strong financial balance sheet and the proven intent to move forward with projects and create jobs.”

Dr Lynham said that over the past five years, several large mines have been disclaimed after the company went into liquidation.

“In the past we’ve seen mines cease production and be returned to the state — now more than ever we need to do everything in our power to keep those jobs and mines working,” he said.

“With these reforms, we’ll also be able to give old mines another shot at life by putting sites that are still commercially viable out to competitive tender.”

The reforms that come into effect from Monday 7 September are the final provisions from the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 that was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 20 May 2020.

Under the Act the Queensland Government has introduced measures to:

  • strengthen safety laws in the resources sector
  • improve financial assurance and whole-of-government mine rehabilitation reforms
  • improve the administration and efficiency of the regulatory framework applying to resource projects.