The City of Kalgoorlie has taken a hit to its budget bottom line, as the mining boom goes bust in Western Australia.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars of infrastructure projects have been put on hold in Western Australia's mining heartland, as the local council grapples with a massive budget hole caused by surrendered tenements.
The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum said 622 "dead" tenements were recorded in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in the state's Goldfields region, in the last year.
Explorers pay rent to the State Government and rates to local councils for the land they lease.
Local councils are required by law to reimburse the balance of rates miners have paid if tenements are surrendered.
Kalgoorlie Mayor Ron Yuryevich said in trying to refund tenement holders the council had been forced to put more than $800,000 worth of projects on the back burner.
"That does have a dramatic effect on our bottom line when you have a severe amount, and that's never happened before," he said.
"We have to have certainty going forward in our budget process, so if we've got an expectation of $23 million coming in rates, we shouldn't be subject to five, six, seven hundred thousand dollars in mining leases being handed back."
The council has voted to ask the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) to petition the State Government for a change to legislation requiring refunding of mining tenement rates.
The region has 2,737 tenements still active.
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