PLENTY OF SALTY AIR BLOWS AWAY THE COBWEBS

Tracy preparing meals on the high seas.

Tracy preparing meals on the high seas.

There is speculation out there as to whether the commodity prices are at their lowest ebb and the upside is coming. But how do we know for certain, when is the right time to plunge in rather than just dip your toe in the water?

I have just returned from sailing a yacht across the Great Australian Bight from Port Lincoln to Esperance. There is a lot of ocean out there and despite all the assurance that we have picked a perfect window for weather there are no guarantees of calm seas. So I packed my full ocean sailing clobber and my travel sickness pills in preparation for whatever the ocean threw at me.

I can report that my stomach held up to the challenge and all the fresh air blew away any cobwebs. Once you come to terms with being just a speck on the ocean with no land in sight you realise how dependant you are on my fellow sailors and the soundness of the yacht. The yacht performed beautifully and the crew are still my friends with closer bonds due to our adventure.

Many people had expressed horror at my willingness to go sailing; leaving dry land was never in their list of things to do. Although I am not an experienced sailor due to being landlocked in Kalgoorlie I loved the adventure into the unknown.

I am now tackling another unknown project developing software to help companies manage their mining tenements. It takes courage to head down a path which is not fully mapped but perhaps my new found sailing skills will help me keep a steady head and a calm stomach. Perhaps it is time to take the plunge and not just dip the toe.

There is gold in them thar hills!

Last night I attended the Raglan Drilling Geology Lecture presented by John Donaldson from Gold Road Resources. John talked about the geology and discovery of the Gruyere gold deposit to a room packed full of geologists.

There was huge interest in this deposit due to the size of its JORC Mineral Resource estimate of 3.8 million ounces of gold.

The geologists in the room were keen to know about the geology so they know what to look for in their own exploration ventures and everyone was keen to share their knowledge. There is no doubt it is tough out there for geologists, particularly ones skilled at exploration so well done to Raglan Drilling for providing an event to nurture this wonderful group of people.

I came away feeling hopeful of new discoveries just waiting to be drilled and caught a little of the gold fever in the room.

I know the geologists are itching to get out there and find gold in them thar hills they just need some wily investors to fund them.

Surely investing in exploration is a bit like being part of a syndicate that buys a horse to race in the Kalgoorlie Cup. You don’t train it, you don’t ride it but you can be at the winning post sharing the spoils and the glory.

Now we have your attention Minister for Mines let’s get Exploration on the road to recovery

Thanks to the advocacy of local politicians and prospectors in the Goldfields the Minister for Mines, Bill Marmion has eventually listened to reason and has put on hold imposing assessment fees for program of works and mining proposals. This is yet another obstacle which would have severely impacted on our exploration industry.

Now that we have his attention perhaps he can listen to a more reasonable view on how to get our industry up and running again.
• Allow exemptions from expenditure due to inability to raise funds without imposing fines
• Allow DMP fees as a claimable expense for annual tenement expenditure commitments
• Prevent overzealous environmental officers from imposing huge fines without first giving holders of tenements the right to lodge a submission supporting reasons why they didn’t meet environmental conditions. If the submission and follow up action is deemed negligent then issue a fine but it should be the last part of the process not the first.

If you have some suggestions to add to the list I will present them to the Minister when I see him on Monday.

Tracy Browning

 

A ROBUST EXPLORATION INDUSTRY WILL BENEFIT THE WHOLE COMMUNITY

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I have been involved with mining tenement management for over 10 years and have never seen the mining exploration industry under so much pressure.

My clients have been struggling to attract investors with an entrepreneurial eye to the future needs of our mining industry. Without a viable exploration industry we will have no resources to mine in 7 years time.

Large mining companies have stopped greenfields exploration so without smaller exploration companies and prospectors searching for minerals it is unclear what the driver of our economic growth will be in the future?

What is most disturbing is the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), which exists to support the mining industry appears itself to be on its knees. Treasury appears to have stopped funding DMP and given them a directive to self fund, so they see their only solution being to lift fees and raise penalties against anyone who has tenements.

Increasing the costs to search for minerals will only cause less people to look and reduce the chances of gaining royalties which fund many projects in Western Australia.

I know of companies which have received enormous fines ($10,000 – $20,000) due to overzealous environmental officers deciding that due to some rehabilitation work not quite being completed on a drill program they needed to be taught a lesson. Due process would surely allow time to clean up the problem with the fine being imposed only if they failed to comply with the request.

The Mining Rehabilitation Fund was hailed as the solution to rehabilitation of old workings yet drilling programs have been knocked back on the basis that old drill sites from the 90’s must first be rehabilitated. These old workings were from companies that have long since gone broke and the sites went into care and maintenance. How is it fair that purchasing the tenements from a liquidator makes the new company now liable?  Will this mean that no company could afford to take over old sites using new technology and bring them back to being producing mines?

I know of prospectors who have programs of works approved but are too frightened to begin work on their tenement due to being afraid they will lose their tenement if they haven’t rehabilitated the site to the exacting standards of the DMP Environmental Division.

Doesn’t it make more sense to lighten the burden and get our mining industry off its knees? They are not asking for a handout just not a kick to the guts whilst they are down. Would it not benefit the whole community if royalties were again rolling into treasury coffers?

Our community needs a vibrant robust exploration industry.

– Tracy Browning

 

The Gold Mining Industry can breathe again

The mining industry in Western Australia has been holding its breath but can breathe again now that the government has announced that mining royalties will not be raised in the new budget.

Gold has also hit a new high rising for the sixth straight session combined with the news that the Australian dollar has drifted lower against the US dollar.

The Exploration Development Incentive will become effective this year which will allow investors to deduct the expense of eligible mineral exploration against their taxable income.

It appears the news is good so one wonders what will be the next excuse, when does the mining sector lift its head and become bold again?

What happened to those visionaries that loved the thrill of the hunt and sleuthing for our next big find? I know mining companies are struggling to find funding for exploration but to stop completely seems daft to me.

Share your vision, excite the market and let’s get moving again. Let’s get Aussies involved in building our future rather than constantly looking to others for assistance.

The best in the world are home grown and honed their skills in our great state so let’s use their expertise wisely.

When did we become a state that wanted the State or Federal Governments to fix things for us, let’s be bold and rediscover doing it for ourselves.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING A SOCIAL LICENCE TO OPERATE

Global Exploration Tenement Services has been approached by the Republic of South Sudan to assist with training their Ministry of Petroleum and Mining staff to follow systems and procedures to allow greater transparency in developing their mining industry.

We were initially approached by an Australian mining company who wanted to ensure greater security to ensure a transparent, robust system to secure their mining tenements and entice investment into a region fraught with conflict.

As a new nation South Sudan are faced with a lot of financial problems and in enticing their displaced people back home they will have ongoing problems if they can’t find meaningful work for them. Mining their resources provides that opportunity.

Since South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, the country’s economy has been almost completely dependent on petroleum revenues. The shutdown of South Sudan’s oil production in January 2012, due to an ongoing dispute with neighbouring Sudan over oil export fees, greatly weakened its fledgling economy and left the Government without revenue.

Australian Aid has been instrumental in supporting the establishment of the necessary regulatory environment for harnessing South Sudan’s minerals sector and funding the establishment of a mining cadastre system.

The extractive industry has a lot to offer developing nations and in developing good policies which provide meaningful long term benefits to the communities they operate in. The Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG) was founded in May 2011, and represents Australian and Australian-based extractive, service and supply companies active in Africa.

AAMIG aims to support member companies and enhance their Social Licence to Operate, with a key focus on stakeholder engagement, sustainable community development, human rights and governance. For further information, please visit: www.aamig.com.

Tracy Browning meeting with Australian and South Sudanese government representatives at Africa Down Under conference 2013.

Tracy Browning meeting with Australian and South Sudanese government representatives at Africa Down Under conference 2013.

Tracy Browning meeting with Australian and South Sudanese government representatives at Africa Down Under conference 2013.

GETS has always received great support from AAMIG. They are excellent at bringing senior Government representatives together with industry representatives and showcasing the Africa Mining Vision of building a “Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”. It makes you want to be part of the transformation.

The South Sudanese I have met are delightful people who deserve a better future. I hope GETS will get the opportunity to assist them.

 

Are your tenements vulnerable?

DataMiningDanger_Large

Are you concerned about the integrity of your tenement data now that DMP is cracking down on data mining?

Data Mining Danger

The unintended consequence of DMP preventing companies from gaining access to information about tenements being surrendered is they have also banned the legitimate use of their data to allow mining companies to ensure their tenements remain in compliance.

For the last three years GETS has been developing an independent database which stands alone from the DMP’s website. Our Dynamic Design Database is intuitive and provides an accurate record of commitments, whilst tracking compliance of reporting requirements. Its ability to easily adapt rules and regulations allows it to keep up to date with the ever changing DMP regulations.

Some of the features our Dynamic Design Database provides are as follows:

• Rent and Expenditure monitoring
• Exemption processing
• Annual Technical Report lodgement
• Tracks conversions of tenements
• Validates Shire rates
• Warns of upcoming partial surrenders
• Advanced warning of potential expiry of your tenements
• Budgeting and planning tool
• Tracks native title processes
• Tracks compliance of your tenements globally
• Deals with multi jurisdictional compliance

Protect your assets by giving us a call today – Your Tenement Data is Safe with GETS

Tracy Browning
Managing Director
Global Exploration Tenement Services
Ph: 08 9091 8525
www.getsmining.com

 

When East Meets West

It appears China is becoming a major influence in my business dealings and now my family life. Last week I travelled to China to witness my oldest son Patrick marry a delightful Chinese woman, Yayi. The wedding was conducted in both English and Mandarin and with over 14 nationalities represented at the wedding it was truly an international occasion.

Blog_When East Meets West

A few years ago I would never have imagined the impact China would now be having on all aspects of my life. I now have a son who speaks fluent Mandarin and a daughter in law who embraces both cultures effortlessly. But it did occur to me during my stay in China that there are still many differences and some words which cannot be translated which can cause confusion.

I know from my Chinese business clients that they struggle with interpreting the Australian Mining Legislation and often misunderstand their obligations. A simple translation does not necessary bring about understanding if the context is not fully understood. We must constantly strive to understand each culture to better work together in business and life.

I am looking forward to getting to know my new daughter better and to building a better understanding with my clients.

Ngadju Determination

NATIVE TITLE DETERMINATION GRANTED TO THE GOLDFIELDS NGADJU PEOPLE

It was a privilege to witness the Ngadju people have their native title claim formally determined by the Federal Court of Australia on 21st November in Norseman.

Tracy at Ngadju Determination in Norseman
Tracy at Ngadju Determination in Norseman

This is the first case of exclusive possession being granted to Aboriginal people in the Goldfields. The decision is the culmination of an 18 year struggle by the Ngadju people to be heard and validates their claim. It also adds certainty to mining companies operating in the area because it is now clear who they need to be negotiating with.

Federal Court recognises the Ngadju Determination
Federal Court recognises the Ngadju Determination

This presents a great opportunity for people to come together and build harmonious relationships that benefit both the Ngadju people and mining companies. Deep down everyone wants to be proud of their achievements and working with Aboriginal people to help them to preserve their culture, provide employment and business opportunities and improve outcomes for their children should make everyone involved feel a sense of accomplishment.

Ngadju dancers performing the emu dance
Ngadju dancers performing the emu dance

GETS’ Native Title negotiating team has a wealth of experience with Paul Browning having 10 years experience as chief of staff for a WA Senator and then Regional Manager of the WA Department of Indigenous Affairs in the Goldfields for several years and Tracy being involved in many tribunal hearings, claimant meetings and heritage surveys over the past 10 years. We both know many of the people involved in the Ngadju Claim and have already been approached to start building the bridge between the Ngadju people and mining companies who ultimately need permission to commence mining in their claimant area.

I am looking forward to commencing this important work and playing a small part in building harmonious relationships.

Tough Times Require Bold Vision

Tracy Browning - What's Down the Track 2014

What’s Down the Track Forum

A comprehensive update on the region’s changes, challenges & emerging opportunities.

Presented by the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

WMC Conference Centre, MacDonald Street, Kalgoorlie, WA

Presentation given by Tracy Browning at the What’s Down the Track forum 23 October 2014.