Reforming Australia's mineral and energy resource exploration sector


Removing unnecessary regulatory burdens -

Recognising Australia's declining share of international energy and resources exploration investment, the Australian Government has commissioned its independent research and advisory body, the Productivity Commission, to evaluate non-financial barriers to exploration investment. This inquiry is underway, providing an opportunity for interested stakeholders (including those in the regulated industry and finance communities) to weigh in with comments and input to the Commission.

The Productivity Commission released an Issues Paper in December 2012 (Issues Paper), a copy of which is available here. The Issues Paper notes a number of factors contributing to the decline in exploration investment (for example, the perception that Australia is a mature exploration destination which provides fewer opportunities for discovery, the intense international competition for exploration investment, and the high costs of exploration given high currency and labour costs), but is focused on one reason in particular: the impact of unnecessary regulatory burdens.

The Issues Paper notes such burdens not only impose administration and operational costs but also fundamentally change the way explorers operate and take advantage of opportunities.

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K&L Gates LLP on:

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