The Mines Minister Bill Marmion said he has taken several steps to reduce regulation to help to fledging nickel sector.

The price of nickel has slumped more than 20 per cent this year on the back of a slowing Chinese economy and the emergence of a new supply of cheaper nickel, called nickel pig iron.

That nickel coming out of China is causing an oversupply in the market.

Mr Marmion said he has also held a meeting with the new federal Resources Minister Ian McFarlane on ways to further reduce costs for the sector.

"I'm hoping that he'll also streamline some of the Commonwealth barriers to some of our projects starting," he said.

"Most of those probably centre a lot on environmental approvals and whilst that's outside my portfolio, I think that's an area the Commonwealth can focus on and get some early runs on the board."

Mr Marmion said there is more work they can do at a state level to streamline the process, which includes making changes to the 'program of works' form.

"Historically they used to only last 12 months so we've made that go to two years and now we're going to make them go to four years," he said.

"That's a very simple thing to do to lower the work for the mining company and it frees up staff in the Department of Minerals and Petroleum to actually go and look at other approvals which are probably blocking some of the projects progressing."


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