The Federation Press

Mining Law in Western Australia


Mining Law in Western Australia has been established for more than 25 years as an essential reference for all legal issues relating to the mining industry. This new edition, the fourth, will be widely and warmly welcomed.

Massive changes have taken place. There have been 15 amendments to the Mining Act and 28 amendments to the Mining Regulations since the third edition. In that period, there has been a substantial volume of case law through decisions in the High Court, the Supreme Court and the Wardens’ Courts. Other significant changes have arisen as a result of another seven years’ experience of the impact of the Native Title Act upon the application of mining law. The most important changes for practitioners of mining law have been made in the area of proceedings before the warden where, the administrative and judicial functions of the warden have been separated.

The new edition reflects all these changes and states the law as at 1 October 2008 but some developments as a consequence of the change of the State Government since then have been noted. The basic structure of previous editions is retained - chapter by chapter commentary which follows the layout of the Mining Act itself.

Although the book deals with mining law in Western Australia, it has always been regarded as having a relevance to the mining industry in other States and the Northern Territory, as broadly similar principles apply throughout Australia. This relevance has been enhanced in the fourth edition because of the expanded coverage of case law and native title issues.


Comprising of 18 chapters, the book caters for both experienced and new readers as no prior knowledge on mining law is assumed by Hunt. Specifically, before discussing legal provisions enacted within the Act, the book starts off by providing beginners with a background of mining law in Australia and Western Australia. Fundamental background information is also consistently provided throughout the book.
Similar to annotated guides, Hunt’s book is commendable because it closely adopts the logical sequence of provisions legislated within the Mining Act 1978 (WA) which includes: Administration, Mineral Fields and Courts (Part II), Land Open for Mining (Part III), Mining Tenements (Part IV), Registration of Instruments and Register (Part IVA), General Provisions (Part V), Caveats (Part VI), Compensation (Part VII), Administration of Justice (Part VIII) and Miscellaneous and Regulations (Part IX).
Another highlight of the book lies in Chapters 17 and 18. Chapter 17 entitled ‘Uranium Mining’ discusses the legal framework governing the uranium industry while Hunt dedicates Chapter 18 to explain the impact of Native Title on mining law in Western Australia. These additional Chapters are well thought because Western Australia is the largest resource industry in Australia and has a variety of mineral resource ranging from iron ore, coal to uranium. Furthermore, the interaction between native title land and mining laws is controversial because there are native title is extremely prevalent in Western Australia.
I would highly recommend this book for legal professionals and students who require an insight mining laws of Western Australia. The content of the book is succinct and encapsulates 25 years of Hunt’s scholarly writing on mining law! - Ethos, ACT Law Society Journal, June 2009

Reviews of previous editions: The commentary is informative and easy to read. The effect of the statutory and regulatory provisions is summarised and their practical application expounded with succinct analysis of the applicable case law and a thorough knowledge of the practice of the mining industry. . . . a valuable and natural starting point for any person who wishes to study or practice the mining law of Western Australia. . . . recommended as a primary reference. - Australian Law Journal

A very useful reference book for those actively involved in the mining industry. - Australian Mineral Foundation

It should not be assumed that because the [Tasmanian] legislation is so different, the book is of no value. On the contrary it is a convenient way of finding authorities which may be of use . . . it cites extensively from summaries of the Warden’s Court in Western Australia, cases which have received little or no publicity otherwise. . . . it will pay to refer to it, should a practitioner become involved in a matter under the Tasmanian legislation which is other than straightforward. - Tasmanian Law Society Newsletter

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

Administration, Mineral Fields and Wardens
Land Available for Exploration and Mining
Prospecting Licence
Exploration Licence
Retention Licence
Mining Lease
General Purpose Lease
Miscellaneous Licence
Mining Tenements: Surrender and Forfeiture,
Expenditure Conditions and Exemption
General Provisions Relating to Mining Tenements
Priority, Registration, Dealings and Documentation
Compensation and Securities
Part IV Proceedings and Warden’s Court
Miscellaneous Provisions
Offshore Mining
Uranium Mining
Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage Laws
Affecting Mineral Exploration and Production


Of interest...