Caveats over resource authorities under the MERCP Act
20 December 2022
20 December 2022
A caveat registered against a resource authority prevents registration of a dealing (such as the registration of a transfer, sublease or mortgage) in relation to the "affected resource authority" from the date and time of lodgement.
However, a caveat does not create an interest in the affected resource authority.
A person claiming an interest in a resource authority may lodge a caveat over the resource authority if the caveat:
The "prescribed requirements" for lodgement of a caveat are those prescribed by the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Regulation 2016 (Qld). Caveats cannot be registered over prospecting permits.
A caveat expires at the following times:
Caveats can also be withdrawn at any time by notification from the caveator to the chief executive.
An application can also be made to the Land Court for an order that a caveat be removed by:
A person who lodges a caveat over land without reasonable cause is liable to compensate anyone who suffers loss or damage as a result.
In Miracle Lane International Holdings Limited v Spinifex Mines Pty Ltd & Ors  QLC 2, a caveator who had lodged caveats against a number of resource authorities sought an order from the Land Court that a caveat which was otherwise due to lapse remain in force due to the presence of ongoing Supreme Court litigation relating to those resource authorities. The caveator feared tha,t without the continuing registration of the caveat, the resource authorities could be sold which would detrimentally affect the Supreme Court proceedings and the ability to potentially recover any monies.
It was accepted by the parties in this matter that the test to maintain a caveat is the same as the test for the grant of an interlocutory injunction, being:
On the facts before him, Member Isdale concluded that removing the caveat would alter the status quo in the related Supreme Court proceedings with unknown possible effects. This led Member Isdale to ultimately conclude that the balance of convenience favoured the caveat remaining in force.
Authors: Libby McKillop, Senior Associate and Greta Sweeney, Graduate.