Before anyone can extract resources or establish mining operations and infrastructure, development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is required from the relevant consent authority. The consent authority for all coal, petroleum, mineral sand and other state signi´Čücant development is the NSW Department Planning, Industry and Environment. The consent authority for other types of mining operations is generally the local council. Ensuring compliance with the conditions of the development consent is the responsibility of the relevant consent authority.

If development consent is granted, then companies are required to obtain a mining lease under the Mining Act 1992. Mining leases are granted by Mining Exploration and Geoscience within the department of Regional NSW. A mining lease application is made when the applicant thinks mining is economically and environmentally feasible and wants to proceed to operations. At this stage companies must specify exactly what minerals they intend to extract.

Once a mining lease has been granted, the NSW Resources Regulator is responsible for the regulation of mining operations, including rehabilitation, undertaken pursuant to the mining lease. This includes:

  • ensuring compliance with the mining lease conditions and the provisions of the Mining Act 1992 and associated Regulations
  • regulating progressive rehabilitation and mine closure pursuant to a mining operations/rehabilitation management plan
  • determining the amount of the security deposit that the lease holder is required to provide to the NSW Government
  • conducting probity and compliance checks on applicants for grant/renewal/transfer of mining lease applications
  • conducting site inspections and investigations.