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Mining lease conditions

In NSW, no-one can undertake mining activities until they are granted a mining lease under the Mining Act 1992. The Minister for Regional NSW is responsible for granting mining leases and the NSW Resources Regulator is responsible for ensuring compliance with the conditions of mining leases.

A mining lease gives the title holder the exclusive right to mine for minerals or conduct mining-related activities over a specific area of land. To be granted a mining lease, companies must demonstrate the presence of an economically mineable mineral resource within the area of the proposed mining lease. They must also demonstrate the financial and technical resources to carry out any mining in a responsible manner. A development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) must also be in place before a mining lease can be granted.

Mining lease applications are processed by Mining, Exploration and Geoscience with Regional NSW.

Mining leases are granted subject to conditions to ensure:

  • potential impacts on the environment are minimised
  • disturbed land is progressively rehabilitated as exploration and mining progresses
  • a security bond is lodged with the department to cover the government’s full costs in undertaking rehabilitation in the event of default by the title holder
  • title holders provide annual reports on the progress of rehabilitation.

The standard conditions on mining leases are set out in Schedule 8A of the Mining Regulation 2016.