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Updates to exploration activity application process

Applications to undertake exploration on exploration licences and mining leases are currently lodged online via the Resources Regulator Portal using the Assessable Prospecting Operations application form. Further information, including links to the relevant guidance notes and codes of practice, is available on the website.

An update will be made in April 2023 to the online application form, the accompanying Review of Environmental Factors and our guidance documentation due for completion. This will include the following:

  1. Holders of mining leases and petroleum titles will now be able to utilise the online application form.
  2. Questions will be added and amended in the application form and the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) survey to align with the requirements set out in Guidelines for Division 5.1 Assessments issued by the Department of Planning and Environment.
  3. Applicants will need to attach a copy of any records obtained from the Commonwealth government’s Protected Matters Search Tool providing details of any matters of national environmental significance under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that are likely to be impacted by the activity.
  4. Departmental guidelines ESG5: Assessment requirements for exploration activities and ESG2: Guideline for preparing a Review of Environmental Factors will be merged into one guideline to provide one source of information for explorers outlining the application and assessment process for their activities.
  5. Activity approvals, including the accompanying Review of Environmental Factors, will be published on our website where the capital investment value of the project exceeds $5 million. This is in accordance with the legislative requirements set out in clause 171 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021.

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