Holding an authority to explore for minerals in NSW comes with certain rights and responsibilities. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Division of Resources and Geoscience (the Division) expects explorers in NSW to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the sustainable discovery and development of the state’s mineral resources.

NSW mining legislation allows decision-makers to take into account these published minimum standards when assessing an application for grant, transfer or renewal of an authority. These standards apply to an applicant’s work program, and their technical and financial capability to carry out the work program. Minimum standards set out the criteria applicants must meet to demonstrate their commitment to effective and sustainable exploration.

The draft Mineral Exploration Minimum Standards document sets out proposed parameters for decision-makers to consider when assessing applications for exploration licences, assessment leases and work program variations under the Mining Act 1992. It also provides guidance on how the Division will apply the minimum standards.

The final Minimum Standards document will deliver on action 4.4 of the NSW Minerals Strategy 2019, which committed the Division to the release of minimum standards.

The proposed framework will support and enable informed, consistent and transparent decision-making on exploration licence and assessment lease applications. They will also provide greater clarity and certainty to applicants and the community on how the Division assesses applications for these authorities and what the benchmarks are.

Download a draft version of the draft Mineral Exploration Minimum Standards.

Download a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about the Mineral Exploration Minimum Standards.

Have your say

The Division welcomes feedback on the proposed minimum standards from industry, the community and other stakeholders. Your feedback will inform the finalisation of the minimum standards.

Please send your submission to DRG Consultation Mailbox at consultation.drg@planning.nsw.gov.au

The Division will accept submissions on the proposed minimum standards until 5pm (AEDT) on 5 December 2019.