consideration of the written and oral evidence put before the Inquiry,
the Department of Mineral Resources submits that the interests of
the State of New South Wales and of the environment of the Wingecarribee
Swamp itself are best served by the renewal of mining leases 567 and
568 subject to a new, detailed and rigorous set of conditions of lease
designed to secure net environmental benefits for the Wingecarribee
Swamp and to ensure that future mining activities reach the highest
of Mineral Resources is concerned that a failure to renew Mining
Leases 567 and 568 would have adverse and serious implications for
the mining industry in New South Wales. The inevitable result of
failure to renew the leases would be the closure of a mine which
has been in continuous operation for a period in excess of 30 years.
operations routinely have a mine life which extends beyond the initial
term of their mining lease. Investment decisions are based on the
ready availability of renewals. There exists within the mining industry
a widely held expectation that a lease renewal will be available
to an applicant which complies with conditions of the lease and
of the mining legislation. If these leases are not renewed the result
will be an industry wide reassessment of New South Wales' attractiveness
as a State in which to explore and develop resources. Mine operators
would be obliged to seriously consider the need to amortise the
life of any mine over the term of the initial lease.
a decision made on this basis would encourage the making of many
further challenges to renewals of existing leases. It would be a
major and adverse development for the proper use of mineral resources
in this State if renewal applicants were to be put through a similar
process to that which new mines must undergo. Yet that is a likelihood
if opponents of renewal are successful in this case.
of a decision not to grant a renewal may be that some mineral deposits
would not be developed because the return on investment over the
initial term of the lease would not justify the investment and because
the additional risk of a failure to renew would significantly impact
on what is already a high risk investment area.
of the mine would effectively close the peat mining industry in
New South Wales with the flow on effect of the loss of eight jobs
and downstream adverse economic impacts on businesses supported
by the mine.
likely that substantially the whole of the current production of
the mine would be substituted by imported peat... It also follows
that Emerald Peat's production is the significant import substitute.
When this evidence is put together with Mr Oakes' comments about
the unique quality of Wingecarribee peat and the great difficulties
in starting a new mine, we submit that the Inquiry should conclude
that the consequence of not renewing the leases will be that the
whole of Australian peat usage will be imported and an import substitution
industry will be wiped out.
that the Inquiry should find on the basis of Mr Ramsland's written
and oral evidence that:
applicant has complied with the conditions of the earlier leases.
applicant has complied with the formal and procedural requirements
of the renewal procedure.
of Mineral Resources, Submission to Inquiry into Renewal of Mining
leases 567 and 568 at Wingecarribee Swamp, 1997.