Release and allocation of areas for coal exploration

The Mining Act 1992 places controls on the release of areas in NSW for coal exploration. Coal prospecting titles in NSW can only be allocated to private operators in one of three ways:

  1. Operational Allocation
    An existing titleholder applies to explore for coal in areas adjacent to or above or below their existing operation for a specified purpose.
  2. The Strategic Release Framework
    The NSW Government identifies an area for potential exploration (coal or petroleum). The suitability of the area is assessed upfront and potential economic, environmental and social issues are assessed and community consultation occurs. If the area is found to be suitable, it is released by a public competitive selection process.
  3. Competitive Allocation
    Competitive Allocation applies when neither Operational Allocation nor the Strategic Release Framework are appropriate. It requires an area for potential coal exploration to be assessed upfront and if it is suitable, the area is released by a public competitive selection process. Competitive Allocation is a faster process than the Strategic Release Framework.
  • Future of Coal Statement

    The NSW Government is taking a responsible, balanced approach to the effects of the global transition to a low carbon future on the coal mining sector.

    Go to Future of Coal Statement

  • Ernst & Young Report

    The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment commissioned Ernst & Young to conduct a rigorous review of the Division of Resources and Geoscience’s processes.

    Go to Ernst & Young Report

  • Service delivery standards

    Service delivery standards for the processing of applications under the Mining Act 1992 provide greater certainty and allow industry to manage operations and deadlines around assessment timeframes.

    Go to Service delivery standards

  • New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling

    The program provides grants to successful applicants for exploration drilling programs (Group 1, 2, 6 and 10 minerals only) that demonstrate strong prospectivity, sound financial planning and a proven technical base.

    Go to New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling

  • Staged repeal of mining and petroleum regulations

    Staged repeal is a process that helps government ensure that regulations are up to date and modern.

    Go to Staged repeal of mining and petroleum regulations

  • Land resources legislation

    The NSW Government is committed to ensuring it has the balance right with the regulation of land access matters. The framework under the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Land Access Arbitration) Act 2015 offers a fairer, more efficient, consistent and transparent land access arbitration process for all parties.

    Go to Land resources legislation

  • SEED Portal: Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data

    The SEED Environmental Data Portal will make a broad range of environmental data available through a single online source.

    Go to SEED Portal: Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data

  • Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016

    The NSW Government will introduce legislation into NSW Parliament that will increase enforcement powers with respect to illegal protests, and ensure public safety, the protection of communities, workers and lawful business activity.

    Go to Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016

  • Lightning Ridge Voluntary Surrender Scheme

    Read about the Scheme which gave leaseholders within Opal Prospecting Areas 1, 2 and 3 an opportunity to express interest in surrendering lots heavily affected by opal mining.

    Go to Lightning Ridge Voluntary Surrender Scheme

  • Explorer rights and obligations – access to land FAQs

    The purpose of land access arrangements is to ensure the orderly search for resources, while recognising the rights of landholders to conduct their activities free from unreasonable interference or disturbance.

    Go to Explorer rights and obligations – access to land FAQs

  • Costs payable by the explorer for reaching a land access arrangement

    Under NSW law, explorers are required to pay the reasonable costs for landholder participation in reaching a land access arrangement.

    Go to Costs payable by the explorer for reaching a land access arrangement

  • NSW Minerals Strategy

    The NSW Minerals Strategy builds on this government’s response to the 2015 Minerals Industry Action Plan. It aims to unlock the state’s metals potential and will support the sustainable growth of the minerals industry and ensure NSW is well placed to benefit from the increasing global demand for metals.

    Go to NSW Minerals Strategy

  • Minerals and Petroleum Administrative Fund and Investment Fund Annual Utilisation Report

    The Annual Utilisation report details the expenditure made under both the Minerals and Petroleum Administrative Fund and the Investment Fund. The report also outlines the key outcomes delivered by the Department of Regional NSW’s Mining Exploration and Geoscience (MEG) group and the NSW Resources Regulator (Regulator) through expenditure of monies in the funds.

    Go to Minerals and Petroleum Administrative Fund and Investment Fund Annual Utilisation Report