Earth Resources Regulation Statistical Review – 2016/17

By on July 19, 2018

ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA.

Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) has just released the 2016/17 statistical review (available at www.earthresources.vic.gov.au). An analysis of the data for the volume of extractive material sold in tonnes demonstrates an upturn to near record levels. Of the 888 current work authorities only 529 quarries reported in 2016/17 as opposed to 535 in 2015/16. Overall, the volume sold is expected to continue to increase in 2018/19 with major infrastructure projects coming on line. Of interest is the average $/tonnes appears to have decreased in 2016/17.

See Chart 1 below.

Chart 1. Extractive material sold ($/tonne) and volume sold (tonnes) against the year

Chart1

The following Chart 2 gives the status of extractive industry work authorities:

Current – Work Authority granted under the MRSDA

Application – where a Work Authority application is lodged with all requirements to obtain an approved Work Plan.

It can be seen from Chart 2 there has been little increase in total numbers of Work Authorities from 2011/12 to 2016/17. This is of concern with no significant increase in the number of approved Work Authorities despite projections of increased material (equivalent to ~1 million additional tonnes/annum being required) due to population growth of ~100,000 per annum and major infrastructure projects in Victoria.

ERR has changed the way reporting on the status of extractive industry work authorities occurs. The Work Authority proposals are no longer included: where the initial site meeting has taken place. For 2014/15, as in previous years, the application stage is defined by ERR as “when a Work Authority application is lodged with all requirements to obtain an approved Work Plan”. It must be wondered whether the impact of the risk based Work Plan process being introduced in December 2015 led to the spike in applications prior to this date. It is worrying to note that the number of work plan applications has decreased, subsequently.

Chart 2. Status of extractive industry Work Authorities

Chart2

Rehabilitation bonds have become an increasing burden on the extractive industry. From 2005/06, as there was a 3% increase in the number of current Work Authorities, however, there was a 37% (to $91.7 million) increase in rehabilitation bonds from 2006/07 to 2016/17. This is despite only ~$20K being spent on rehabilitation of quarries by the State Government over the past 20 years whilst for mines the figure is in the $millions.

Chart 3. Rehabilitation bonds actual and % annual increase versus year

Chart3

The CMPA looks forward to the timely publishing of the 2017/18 statistical review.

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