All prospecting or mining for minerals prescribed under the regulations to the Mining Act 1992, whether publicly or privately owned, requires an authority to be held (exploration licence, assessment lease, mining lease or a mineral claim in a Minerals Claim District).

Prior to 15 November 2010, certain areas were held under Private Mining Agreements (PMAs) under the provisions of the Mining Act 1992. These provisions were repealed following the commencement of the Mining Amendment Act 2008.

Savings provisions allowed PMAs to continue for a period of 12 months from 15 November 2010 to allow the mineral owner to apply for an authorisation to continue their operations.

Application forms

Owners of private minerals can apply for an exploration (mineral owner) licence, an assessment (mineral owner) lease or a mining (mineral owner) lease. You will need to provide evidence that the minerals to which your application relates are owned by you.

For more information on applying for an appropriate authority see the instructions attached to the application forms.

If you propose to mine or prospect for privately owned minerals, it is strongly recommended that you read the relevant sections of the Mining Act 1992 and the Mining Regulation 2016 associated with the particular authority which you intend to apply for, in conjunction with this information.

Frequently asked questions

How do I find out if the minerals in land are privately owned?

Mineral ownership is determined by a search of the mineral reservation shown on the original land grant of the land title at NSW Land Registry Services and interpretation of the information gained from the search.

If applying for a mineral owner authority, you may be required to supply evidence from an Australian legal practitioner (Clause 14(2) of the Mining Regulation 2016).

What if the land is affected by a current exploration title?

If a privately owned mineral is not included in the group of minerals associated with the existing exploration licence, a mineral owner authority (exploration licence, assessment lease or mining lease) may be applied for over the land containing the privately owned mineral, but only by the owner of the mineral/s.

Note: There is nothing to prevent an authority for a different group of minerals to be applied for over the same area as an existing exploration licence.

For further information
Resource Operations
1300 736 122 (toll free) or +61 (0)2 4063 6600
+61 (0)2 4063 6974
Resource Operations, Mining, Exploration and Geoscience, Department of Regional NSW, PO Box 344 Hunter Regional Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map