Urban planners in South Australia will now need to give greater consideration to how close housing projects come to existing mining operations with this week’s release of the government’s Resource Area Management and Planning (RAMP) Final Report.
The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) has welcomed the report saying, ” (it) recognises the important local economic and public benefits of protecting mining operations that supply materials to the construction industry, especially those established mines near urban areas.”
SACOME Chief Executive, Jason Kuchel, said, “The State Government implemented the RAMP project as it was concerned there has long been potential for conflict, with housing slowly but surely creeping ever closer to existing mining operations.”
“It was clear that better planning and processes needed to be implemented to minimise the interface issues that can occur over time. It is not just mining operations themselves that needed to be considered, but also infrastructure such as transport routes to ensure product can get to market.”
The report also looks at other types of mineral resources, not just those producing materials for construction, and localities that have potential for land-use conflict. Six existing operations were used as case studies, located at Kapunda, Kanmantoo, the Barossa Valley, Victor Harbor, Linwood and Para Hills.
The report identifies three key scenarios: existing operations, new applications for mines; and future potential mineral resources protection based on a 30 year outlook.
“We think that dividing the report into three different scenarios was sensible, as the report rightly identifies it is not possible to have one system or process that can resolve the issues for all situations that have, or could have, interface issues,” said Mr Kuchel.
The report makes a number of recommendations including high level strategic planning across jurisdictions, auditing mining operations for potential interface issues and implementing associated planning and policies, through to exploring ways potential purchasers can be informed of the presence of a mine when purchasing property.
SACOME calls on the State Government to implement these recommendations at the earliest opportunity, to ensure the long term viability of mining for the construction industry and in regional areas, with the best possible planning and policies in place to mitigate potential issues with other users.
The RAMP Final Report is available on the Department of State Development website.