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COVID-19: latest updates for stakeholders

Tuesday 20 June 2020

COVID-19 update - includes new online pre-approval cross-border travel process

Information from DEM's Chief Executive with information about the new online travel form that should be completed prior to travel into South Australia, a reminder about voluntary asymptomatic testing and extension of the Victorian border closure.

Previous updates for the resources sector

Managing the COVID-10 pandemic

The World Health Organisation has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic with containment measures disrupting business activity around the world.

The Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) is well prepared to manage the response to this pandemic, relying on a SA Health strategy that was specifically prepared well in advance of the COVID-19 outbreak.

DEM's containment response will be continuously reviewed to remain consistent with updated Government advice and policy.

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Information for stakeholders

The Government of South Australia has identified the energy and mining sectors as key industries essential for the ongoing economic activity of the state. Accordingly, it is critical the Department for Energy and Mining continues to support these businesses to continue operations as far as practical in the current circumstances.

The department is liaising with our energy and mining stakeholders to understand their business continuity plans to avoid and minimise any disruption to the delivery of essential infrastructure and services to the South Australian community.

In line with public health advice, the Department for Energy and Mining is moving to electronic means of engagement within the agency and with our external stakeholders, and continues to keep the channels of communication open as the nationwide response to containing the COVID-19 virus evolves.

The high-level of cooperation the Department has experienced throughout the ongoing health emergency is appreciated and DEM's Chief Executive, Dr Paul Heithersay, will continue to keep the energy and mining resources sectors updated as new information comes to hand.

Previous updates for South Australia's resources sector

Friday 19 June 2020 June 2020: Key changes to the Cross Border Travel Direction

Update on the Cross Border Travel Direction (Number 7) and the relevance of these changes to the resources sector, particularly with regard to FIFO and DIDO workers.

Tuesday 16 June 2020: WA, NT and TAS borders opening and COVID testing trial

State border restrictions for people travelling directly from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania to be lifted at midnight 16 June 2020; and report on the asymptomatic COVID-19 testing trial conducted at Adelaide Airport for inbound FIFO workers.

Friday 12 June 2020: COVID-19 update on lifting of border restrictions and the impact for the mining, oil, gas, energy and METS sectors

The Premier of South Australia has announced that the State's border restrictions will lift from Monday 20 July 2020.

Thursday 14 May 2020: COVID-19 update for South Australia's resources sector

Early moves by the sector to coordinate its response to COVID-19 has allowed essential operation within the sector to continue.

Friday 1 May 2020: Chief Executive industry update

Information on planning for maintenaince shutdowns, the work DEM has been doing with the Australian Border Force to clarify the process of importing international expertise if required for emergency management, swab testing of FIFO workforces, the COVIDSafe app, and thoughts on the road to economic recovery.

Wednesday 15 April 2020: SA Health briefing for industry
Wednesday 15 April: Managing supply risks - guidance and tools for resource companies

The Minerals Council of Australia and the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and their member companies have developed two documents for use by the resources sector to further promote the operationalising of national protocols as they navigate the restrictions required to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Managing Supply Risks document provides practical guidance to resource companies to ensure supply risks to business critical services and products are identified, assessed and managed. The Essential Supplier Letter template is a tool for companies to use if suppliers seek or require confirmation of their 'essential status' to the resources industry.

The Department for Energy and Mining encourages essential industries in South Australia to use the guide and template letter to assist state authorities to maintain the restrictions while minimising the disruption to critical business operations.

More information is available from the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) website

Saturday 4 April 2020: Chief Executive update or mining, quarrying, oil, gas and energy sectors

Includes updates on:

  • Critical work and reduced staff movements
  • Submission of plans to SA Health
  • Fee relief under the Mining and Petroleum Acts
  • FIFO/DIDO workers returning to South Australia
  • Evidence for workers in transit
  • Quarantine for inbound workers
  • Adelaide Airport exposures
  • Clarity for mineral explorers
Friday 3 April 2020: Fee relief for COVID19-hit resources sector

The South Australian Government has deferred costs linked to exploration and licence fees for the minerals and petroleum sectors with the announcement of:

  • an immediate deferral of mineral exploration licence fees and annual petroleum and geothermal licence fees due in the next six months (now not due until 31 December 2020)
  • a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration holders
  • an expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum Petroleum Retention Licence requirements during a period of low oil prices

Full details are in the Minister for Energy and Mining's media release

Wednesday 1 April 2020: Cross-travel and social distancing policies

COVID-19 update for South Australia's energy and mining resources sectors from the Chief Executive, Department for Energy and Mining: recommended industry response to the cross-travel directions and social distancing policies rolled out in South Australia is outlined in the following video.

Download the Chief Executive's update for energy and mining resources sectors (PDF)

Sunday 29 March 2020: Non-essential movements

Non-essential movements that result in unnecessary exposure pathways must stop

Saturday 28 March 2019: Quarantine restrictions

New restrictions on international travellers into South Australia: for people who are returning from international travel back into South Australia - 14 days quarantine in the state you arrive in, if you then travel to South Australia, another 14 days self-quarantine in South Australia.

Friday 27 March 2020: Cross-border travel arrangements

From South Australian Department for Energy and Mining and Queensland Gas Inspectorate

From Chief Executive, South Australian Department for Energy and Mining

Tuesday 24 March 2020: Measures for controlling COVIC-19 transmission

Access to South Australia Drill Core Reference Library

In line with the Department for Energy and Mining's containment response to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the Drill Core reference Library will be closed until further notice.

Requests for core inspections will not be accepted until further notice. Any inspections that have been been booked will need to be cancelled or postponed, and companies will be advised when restrictions are no longer in place.

Keeping our staff and the working environment safe

All DEM employees are taking measures to reduce potential exposure to the virus and to maintain the health and wellbeing of the department's staff and their families.

These measures include:

  • Implementing staff working from home rosters while ensuring critical functions are maintained
  • Guidance on appropriate social distancing, limiting meeting room capacities and providing alternatives to face-to-face meetings using Skype for Business and Microsoft teams
  • Cancellation of all business travel
  • An obligation for employees to report any recent travel and the results of any testing for COVID-19
  • Adopting a self-isolation policy following SA Health guidelines
  • Increasing daily cleaning services at our offices including meeting room tables, IT equipment, light switches, door handles and lift buttons and other high use surfaces
  • Encouraging good hygiene practices, including the provision of hand sanitiser and cleaning agents throughout the offices

Conferences and events

Global concerns about the pandemic and the disruption to travel due to self-isolation policies has prompted DEM to review its role in organising and participating in conferences and events.

Copper to the World 2020 Conference

DEM has postponed the June 2020 conference and masterclass.

Register here to receive updates about future conference developments.

More information

SA Health

Updates, advice and information for South Australians about COVID-19 can be found on SA Health's:

South Australian Government

State-based COVID-19 information can be accessed from:

  • a dedicated website sa.gov.au/covid-19 (includes Emergency Declaration and directions, business information including financial support, and frequently asked questions)
  • the South Australia COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787 (open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, 7 days a week)

Department for Energy and Mining

If you have any queries regarding the work of the Department in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak please email DEM.corporateservices@sa.gov.au