Mineral exploration activity in Western Australia is on the rise after the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety recorded a five-year high in the number of Programme of Work (PoW) applications.
The department’s figures for July and August showed a record 63 per cent increase on the monthly average (195) for applications and processing in the last five years.
In August, the department received 317 Programme of Work applications and finalised 99 per cent of PoW decisions within the new 15-business day target.
This streamlined approval timeframe target from 30 to 15 business days was announced in February and came into effect on July 1, 2020, which was also a record month with 323 applications received.
As stated by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
“There’s been a big spike in the number of Programme of Work applications submitted in August, which is very positive news for the sector and Western Australia.
“With the record high gold price, we are seeing that gold exploration accounted for 70 per cent of these applications, with base metals and iron ore the next most common targets.
“These encouraging figures indicate that Western Australia’s exploration sector is thriving, aided by the efforts of Streamline WA.
“Congratulations to the department for finalising such a large number of applications. They continue to perform well within the halved timeframe, with finite resources and digital capability.
“The timeframe reduction will have a direct benefit to the mining industry and as we can see it is already promoting economic activity in the regions.”