Legal development

Mineral Resources Act 1989 Qld amended to recognise validity of older mining leases

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    Key Insights

    • The Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld) (Amendment Act) was passed on 13 October 2022 and commenced on 20 October 2021.  Among other things, the Amendment Act introduced a provision into the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) which allows for the validation of certain mining leases without the issue of an instrument of lease.
    • The new provision applies to certain mining leases granted between 1 September 1990 and 21 April 2010.

    How the new provision for validating certain mining leases operates

    Section 334ZOA of the newly amended Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) (MRA) applies to mining leases granted after the commencement of the MRA on 1 September 1990 but before the commencement of section 52 of the Mines and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 on 21 April 2010, where:

    • the relevant Minister at the time complied with the previous requirement of the Governor in Council that an instrument of lease be issued to the applicant for the lease; and/or
    • an instrument of lease was not issued to the holder of the lease.

    Under section 334ZOA, mining leases which meet these criteria are taken to be, and always to have been, as valid as if the Minister had complied with the requirement outlined above, and an instrument of lease had been issued.  


    • done under or in relation to the mining lease; and
    • required or allowed to be done in relation to an instrument of lease that was not done; 

    is, and was, as valid as if the above criteria were met.  Further, the rights and liabilities of all persons are taken to be, and to have been, the same as if the criteria had been met. 

    What this means for holders of mining leases caught by the new provision

    The new provision is designed to offer certainty for holders of mining leases, to ensure that they can continue to operate with confidence.

    Section 334ZOA applies retrospectively, but does not confer any new rights or obligations on anyone.  It addresses only a narrow administrative deficiency that might affect an otherwise validly granted mining lease, as well as actions taken and rights and liabilities created under it.  

    Author: Brigid Horneman-Wren, Lawyer

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.


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