The Western Australian Government is updating its online systems to prevent major mining companies from exploiting new software to secure tenements through 'data mining'.
Western Australia's Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is in the process of upgrading the system following claims that some mining companies are using special software to access DMP's information and gain an advantage when competing for tenements.
DMP Mineral Titles executive director Dr Ivor Roberts said: "To ensure equity, over the next few months the department will establish an online system where availability of tenements will be provided free of charge, following the registration of surrender."
The online system will enable everyone to see the information through the department's website and details will be distributed through a RSS feed.
By providing detailed and cost-free tenement information for download the following day, the system is expected to help companies audit and manage their tenements for compliance, and determine when ground is available without the need for 'data mining'.
However, data will not include any pre-registration information that may indicate the tenement surrender.
Mining tenements are lodged with DMP's electronic system when they are surrendered in Western Australia and the information is later made public.
At present, there are 21,278 mining tenements registered in Western Australian.
In 2014, 2,690 tenements were surrendered and a further 2,702 are said to be due for renewal this year.
Image: The system will enable everyone to see the information through DMP's website. Photo: courtesy of Government of Western Australia.