Hunt on Mining Law of Western Australia has been established for more than 32 years as an essential reference for all legal issues relating to the mining industry. Although it deals with the law as applied to exploration and mining in Western Australia, it is of use to mining law practitioners in other States and the Northern Territory because there are many common principles of mining law throughout Australia and because the book deals extensively with topics of native title, environmental protection and mines safety – topics of general application, as is much of the case law discussed in the book.
This new edition, the fifth, will be widely and warmly welcomed. Michael Hunt has been joined as co-author by Tim Kavenagh, a Western Australian mining lawyer with over 30 years’ experience both as a barrister appearing in the courts on mining matters and as an in-house counsel to major corporations. James Hunt is the third co-author, and involved on a daily basis with mining-related commercial activity, mining tenure advice and Warden’s Court matters.
Many changes have taken place in Western Australian mining law since the previous edition was published seven years ago – 10 amendments to the Mining Act and 20 amendments to the Mining Regulations. In that period, there has been a substantial volume of case law through decisions in the High Court, the Supreme Court and the Warden’s Court. Other significant changes have arisen as a result of more experience of the impact of the Native Title Act on the application of mining law and because the intervening seven years have enabled the authors to gain much practical experience with the processes for proceedings before the Warden, which were new and untested when the fourth edition was published.
The authors have expanded the scope of the book to include new chapters on environmental protection and mines safety. Extensive cross-referencing to AMPLA (the Resources and Energy Law Association) articles has been included to assist readers in finding deeper analysis of issues.
The new edition reflects all these changes and states the law as at 1 June 2015. The basic structure of previous editions is retained – chapter-by-chapter commentary which follows the layout of the Mining Act itself.
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
Administration, Mineral Fields and Wardens
Land Available for Exploration and Mining
General Purpose Lease
Mining Tenements: Surrender, Expenditure Conditions, Exemption and Forfeiture
General Provisions Relating to Mining Tenements
Priority, Registration, Dealings and Documentation
Compensation and Securities
Part IV Proceedings and Warden’s Court
Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage Laws Affecting Mineral Exploration and Production
The authors’ aim in the fifth edition of Hunt on Mining Law of Western Australia remains the same as that of the first edition, published 32 years ago: to serve as a practical guide to those applying mining law in Western Australia. Practitioners around Australia will find it useful, as many of the principles of mining law dealt with in the text are common throughout the country. This edition contains extensive coverage of native title and Indigenous heritage laws affecting mineral exploration and production, and new chapters on environmental protection and safety in mines.
The book’s adherence to the layout of the WA Mining Act provides a convenient basis for reference. Practitioners should be aware of legislative nuances particular to their own jurisdiction, however the substantial volume of case law delivered in the High Court, the Western Australian Supreme Court and by the mining warden (WA) since the fourth edition should be pertinent to practitioners nationally. This edition has been extensively updated to incorporate both new case law and major changes to the Mining Act and Mining Regulations of Western Australia, and cross references are provided to AM PLA (the Resources and Energy Law Association) articles.
The law stated in this edition is current as of 1 July 2015. All lawyers dealing with the Australian resources sector should find this updated edition of invaluable assistance.
Steve Chambers, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, September 2016
Now in its fifth edition, Hunt on the Mining Law of Western Australia provides practitioners with Federation Press’ usual level of detail and scholarship in an area of law that probably can no longer be considered a niche field. Although the mining law of just one State might once have been considered a field that most lawyers on the other side of the country were unlikely to consider, as a result of the resources boom practitioners can no longer expect that to be the case.
It is not, however, the fact that this work has national appeal that makes it unsurprising that this is its fifth iteration, rather it is the fact that it has a broad appeal to all sections of the profession. For example, the particularly detailed consideration given to licences and leases is most helpfully done in a manner that will of assistance to a projects lawyer dealing with the grant, amalgamation, or surrender of licences and leases, and to a litigation lawyer dealing with the disputes which inevitably arise. A thoughtful and critical treatment is also included of the relationship between native title rights and the continued need for mineral exploration and production. Having identified the shortcomings of the current systems, the authors no doubt draw on their commercial experience to include practical advice to deal with it as well.
For any lawyer dealing in the resources sector, either directly or tangentially such that Western Australian law becomes relevant, this updated edition will no doubt be invaluable.
Queensland Law Reporter – 18 December 2015 –  49 QLR
Reviews of previous editions:
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 into 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
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