All legislation for NSW mining workplaces
The following laws apply to all NSW mines and petroleum sites. A 'mine' is where mining operations are carried out or a tourist mine. A 'petroleum site' is a place where petroleum operations are carried out.
Refer to the WHS (Mines and Petroleum sites) legislation page for a more detailed definition of the term.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 apply to all workplaces in NSW, including mining workplaces.
Read more about WHS legislation.
Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) legislation
The Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2022 apply to all mines and petroleum sites in NSW. These laws support the WHS Act and WHS Regulation and provide additional provisions for work health and safety issues unique to mines and petroleum sites.
The current WHS (Mines and Petroleum Sites) legislation commenced on 1 February 2015. It was drafted based on the national model WHS Regulations for mining and the additional tri-state mining provisions agreed by NSW, Queensland and Western Australia. The new legislation replaced the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002, Coal Mine Health and Safety Regulation 2006, Mine Health and Safety Act 2004 and Mine Health and Safety Regulation 2007.
Amendments to bring petroleum regulation into the WHS (Mines and Petroleum Sites) legislation scheme commenced 1 February 2016.
Read more about the WHS (Mines and Petroleum Sites) legislation.
The Mining Act 1992 applies to holders of exploration licences, assessment leases and mining leases. The Act provides an integral framework for the effective regulation of exploration and mining operations to ensure that mineral resources are identified and developed in ways that minimise impacts on the environment.
Petroleum (Onshore) Act
The Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 applies to holders of petroleum exploration licences, assessment leases and production leases. The Act provides an integral framework for the effective regulation of onshore petroleum exploration and production operations to ensure that petroleum resources (including coal seam gas) are identified and developed in ways that minimise impacts on the environment.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the sole authority responsible for compliance and enforcement of all coal seam gas exploration and production activities - with the exception of work health and safety issues.
Radiation Control Act
The Radiation Control Act 1990 has been amended to include 'radioactive ores' and the new legislation commenced on 1 July 2013. The change gives jurisdiction to the Mine Safety regulator over exploration, mining, and processing of radioactive ores in NSW.
Read the information sheet Changes to Radiation Control Act affecting mining related activities (PDF, 144.52 KB).
The use of explosives in all NSW workplaces is covered by the Explosives Act 2003 and Explosives Regulation 2013. The main purpose of the legislation is to improve public safety and security of explosives (as well as concentrated ammonium nitrate) by preventing unauthorised access. Under the legislation, anyone handling explosives needs to hold a Blasting explosives users license.
Outdated references in publications
Please check the publication date of any document you download from this website, as information published before February 2015 may not reflect the current legislation. Also, some publications may be branded by previous agency names including:
- NSW Department of Industry
- NSW Trade & Investment
- NSW Industry & Investment
- NSW Department of Primary Industries
- NSW Mineral Resources.
To keep up-to-date with changes to legislation, subscribe to Mine Safety News.
Repealed Acts and Regulations can be accessed at either www.legislation.nsw.gov.au or www.austlii.edu.au/au/nsw. Note that Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 were repealed as at 1 January 2012.