Reforms cut red tape for gem miners

SMALL mining operators in the Gemfields will reap the benefits from regulatory reforms.
SMALL mining operators in the Gemfields will reap the benefits from regulatory reforms.

SMALL mining operators in the Gemfields will reap the benefits from regulatory reforms designed to cut red tape for opal, sapphire, ruby and other gem operators.

The Mines and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 introduced on Wednesday in State Parliament represents the most significant reform to Queensland's small mining industry in decades, according to Member for Gregory, Vaughan Johnson.

"Over recent years, these small scale miners have felt pressure from excessive bureaucratic red tape and increases in fees and compliance costs," Mr Johnson said.

Queensland Sapphire Producers Association president Cliff Mortley said he has been working hard to try to make processes, procedures and costs simpler.

"The Gemfields is a unique and limited area. We have to preserve that, make sure it lasts the distance, but at the same time make the process simpler," Mr Mortley said.

"There will be some other changes following this, which we hope will assist small miners, reduce paperwork and reduce the burdens."

The QPSA will hold a public meeting on December 13, at the Sapphire Multipurpose Centre from 1-3pm.

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