Metgasco still waiting on licence

A PETROLEUM production licence - which would see Metgasco begin extracting commercial quantities of coal-seam gas from its Richmond Valley leases - has still not been granted more than 12 months after the com-pany applied for it.

Petroleum production licence number nine was lodged with the Department of Primary industries by the company in December 2009.

It is understood the hold-up relates to a Native title claim covering an area where Metgasco has leases.

The Northern Star asked the department to provide details of any Native title considerations relating to the application.

However, it would not provide any specific information.

"It is being processed in accordance with the current legislation and policy, including requirements regarding Native title," a spokesperson for the department said.

Metgasco said it had not been advised as to why the application was taking so long.

"We have met all of the necessary regulatory conditions imposed by the NSW Government and paid all required financial bonds almost one year ago," chief executive Peter Henderson said.

Mining licence facts

Mining and petroleum production in NSW is primarily regulated by the Mining Act 1992 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991.

Under the Mining Act 1992 there are five main approvals:

Exploration licences, Assessment leases, Opal prospecting licences, Mining leases; and Mineral claims.

Petroleum exploration and production that occurs on land is regulated by the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991. Similarly, there are four main approvals:

Production leases, Exploration licences, Assessment leases; and



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