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MacLoran Farm

Australian Rare Earth Granted Mining Exploration Leases in South East Australia

The Mining Act governs the exploration and extraction of minerals and other resources on land, and its intricacies can have significant impacts on a farmer’s use of his or her land. It is important for landowners and pastoral lease holders to fully understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act.

As an example of the potentially widespread impact of mining operations, in April 2023 Australian Rare Earth (ARE) were granted 4000sq km of mining exploration leases in the South East of South Australia and Western Border Victoria. Adding to the complexity of the issues in relation to mining is the introduction of the Hydrogen Gas and Renewable Energy Bill, which will add another layer of complexity in relation to hydrogen gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Landowners and pastoral lease holders possess valuable rights over their properties, and these rights can be potentially affected by mining activities. By seeking expert legal advice, landowners and pastoral lease holders can gain a clear understanding of the legal framework in respect of any mining activities, including:

  1. what mechanisms are available to resist any such mining operations;
  2. compensation that a person might be entitled to; and/or
  3. access arrangements.

Having dealt with mining issues for decades, Mellor Olsson Lawyers know the intricacies of the Mining Act and can provide comprehensive guidance on how to navigate the web of issues and ensure that you are well-informed about your entitlements and options if a mining operation wishes to come onto your property and undertake exploration and/or mining activities.

The drafting of Access and Compensation Agreements in particular requires special attention. These agreements define the terms under which mining companies can access land for exploration or extraction purposes and outline the compensation that landowners and lease holders are entitled to receive in return. They also deal with practical issues for accessing the land, such as interaction with livestock and farming infrastructure. A well-drafted agreement safeguards the interests of landowners and lease holders by clearly delineating the scope of mining activities, specifying the compensation formula, addressing environmental concerns, and setting conditions for ongoing communication and collaboration.

Mellor Olsson’s expertise in mining law can help landowners and lease holders negotiate these agreements to ensure their rights are protected and that they receive fair compensation for the use of their land.

As part of our partnership with Mellor Olsson Lawyers, Livestock SA members are entitled to a 20min free chat on any legal issue. Phone 08 8414 3400 to speak with Partner, Anthony Kelly about matters pertaining to the Mining Act.

Published: 28 August 2023