Figures show mining approvals take two years

The Department of Mines has released figures showing it takes an average of just over two years for a new mining project in Western Australia to reach final approval.

The average was reached after assessing about 1,100 mining proposals over the past four years.

The figure has been released to counter industry criticism that approval timelines have blown out to five years, making WA a less competitive place to develop projects.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy welcomes the progress that has been made.

The Wilderness Society's Peter Robertson says approval times have been reduced by cutting corners.

"The recent furore over fracking for example demonstrates that the Department of Mines and the Minister for Mines are in a huge rush to approve all kinds of mining projects, both onshore and offshore, in all parts of WA without adequate safeguards, without adequate assessments," he said.

He says more should be done to protect the environment.

"WA should uphold the strictest standards because our environment is already under enormous pressure," he said.

"We shouldn't be cutting corners and we shouldn't be fast-tracking approvals because we've already done so much damage and we've learnt very little from it."

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