Exploration in exempted areas requires the prior consent of the Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Resources in addition to an access arrangement with any landholders. Approval of exploration activities cannot be granted by the Resources Regulator until Ministerial consent has been obtained. Exempted areas include State Forests, State Conservation Areas and most other public lands.

The Mining Act 1992 defines an exempted area as an area constituted by land:

(a)  reserved, dedicated, appropriated, resumed or acquired for public purposes (except land reserved for a temporary common or a commonage), whether vested in the Crown or in any person as trustee for public purposes, or

(b)  held under a lease for water supply by virtue of a special lease or otherwise, or

(c)  transferred, granted or vested in trust by the Crown for the purpose of a race-course, cricket-ground, recreation reserve, park or permanent common or for any other public purpose, or

(d)  prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

To apply for an exempted area consent, contact Mining, Exploration & Geoscience within the Department of Regional NSW here.