Establishing NSW as a world leader for investment in mining while doubling down on the protection of workers, communities and the environment are at the heart of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s plan for the mining industry in the 2021-22 Budget.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for mining John Barilaro said the NSW Government will invest more than $100 million in the 2021-22 financial year, so that the sector can continue to drive prosperity in regional NSW, through safe and sustainable development.
Mr Barilaro said a number of initiatives will be delivered with a focus on attracting investment and forging a path for high-tech metals and critical minerals that will result in new projects, accelerate local economic growth, support jobs and ensure vibrant regional cities and towns.
“The state of mining in NSW is rock solid – through the challenges of recent years, the sector kept people employed and economies going, and while coal isn’t going anywhere soon, it’s time to consider the mineral opportunities that lie ahead,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The global race is on to locate the critical minerals and high-tech metals, such as the copper, cobalt and nickel that we will need to manufacture electric vehicles, batteries, mobile phones and other future technologies and NSW has a significant mineral endowment.
“The $2.2 million Round Four of the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling Program will remove funding barriers for explorers and the State’s first Critical Minerals Strategy will be developed with a goal to unlock potential and make NSW a leading supplier.
“Delivered with the State’s continued program to map mineral deposits through large scale precompetitive data acquisition and the support of a new Investment Development team, these initiatives will help to make NSW the number one destination for mining investment.
Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government will continue to strengthen protections for workers and ensure license holders meet their obligations to protect communities and the environment, while working to remediate historic and abandoned mine sites across the state.
“Funding of $33.6 million will pay for the regulation of mine site safety in relation to work, health and safety compliance and enforcement to ensure workers return safely to their families at the end of the day and license holders fulfil their responsibilities,” Mr Barilaro said.
“With more than $100 million included in this year’s Budget, remediation works will now be carried out across ten years at higher risk historic and abandoned mine sites in regional NSW, primarily in locations where production ceased between 50 and 100 years ago.
“Remediation at these locations will increase safety, reduce impacts to the environment, and reinvigorate land for other possible uses, such as for community parklands, to create tourist attractions, and accommodate select business operations.”
Highlights from the 2021-22 Budget for mining industries and mining communities in regional NSW include:
- More than $100 million over ten years to remediate high-risk historic and abandoned legacy mine sites, including site assessment, contamination safety and risk reduction;
- $34.5 million to grow investment in mining and exploration, through world-class geoscientific data, promotion of the State’s resources and further research into coal innovation technology;
- $33.6 million to regulate mine and petroleum site safety in relation to work, health and safety compliance and enforcement;
- $13.2 million to deliver robust assessment of exploration and mining titles applications, roll-out and enhancement of the Titles Management System and calculation of royalties;
- $9.2 million to carry out regular compliance inspections and investigate instances of non-compliance of the Mining Act 1992.