Tuesday, 29 October 2013

New initiatives to assist junior explorers

Flow-through capital raising, the new JORC code and the first ever non-cash tender for coal exploration were the hot topics at the Mining 2013 Resources Convention held in Brisbane this month.

McCullough Robertson’s Resources Group attended the Convention from 23 to 25 October 2013.  It was an opportunity to review the state of the sector and discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead, particularly those facing junior explorers.  This post covers some of the key themes of the conference.

Tax credit scheme

The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to introduce an Exploration Development Incentive benefiting exploration companies.

It will introduce an incentive that will allow investors to deduct the expense of mining exploration against their taxable income, starting on 1 July 2014. 

The scheme is expected to target small exploration companies by limiting eligibility to companies with no taxable income and will be capped at $100 million over the forward estimates.

McCullough Robertson Commercial and Tax Partner Hayden Bentley shares his thoughts on this issue during Day 1 of the Convention. 

First ever non-cash tender for coal exploration

During the conference, the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps announced the first ever non-cash tender for coal exploration.  The seven areas of land being made available for coal exploration by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) collectively cover more than 1,292 square kilometres in the northern Bowen Basin.

DNRM officers will assess applications for this land based on the competitiveness of the ‘work programs’ submitted by explorers, but there will be no requirement for cash bids to be made.  Interested parties have until 2.30pm on Wednesday 5 March 2014 to lodge their tender applications.

McCullough Robertson Corporate Special Counsel Warwick Walsh discusses this announcement as well as issues around accessing capital for exploration and international investment in the sector during Day 2 of the Convention. 

Corporate update - the new JORC Code

A key topic of the conference was the new JORC Code and ASX Listing Rules relating to the disclosure of reserves and resources by ASX-listed mining and oil and gas exploration and production companies that will come into effect on 1 December 2013.  More information about this issue, a well as flow-through capital raising and continuous disclosure obligations around analysts' briefings that has seen Newcrest Mining feature frequently in the news lately, is detailed in the Corporate Update presentation delivered at the conference by Corporate Partner Isaac West and Hayden Bentley.

Click here to launch our Mining 2013 Resources Convention presentation for more information.

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