Exploration permit for minerals or coal

Rent reduction for minerals exploration

The rent reduction for exploration permits for minerals (EPMs) announced under the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy commences on 1 September 2023 and ends on 31 August 2028.

Current invoices remain due and payable.

Read more information about Zero rent for exploration permits for minerals.

Exploration permits allow you to use more advanced exploration methods to determine the quantity and quality of minerals present. Different exploration permits are required for minerals and for coal.

Permitted activities

An exploration permit allows you to prospect, conduct geophysical surveys, drilling, and sampling and testing of materials.

Environmental authorities

An environmental authority may not be required if your activities meet the criteria for a small-scale mining activity.

Native title

Any native title requirements will need to be addressed before we grant an authority.

Main features of exploration permits

Feature Exploration permit minerals (EPM) Exploration permit coal (EPC)
Specified mineral Any mineral other than coal Coal
Duration Up to 5 years Up to 5 years
Size* 100 sub-blocks

Tender related:
300 sub-blocks

EPC project related:
6 sub-blocks – adjacent to existing project

Renewable Yes Yes
Rent{{ pass_35327 }} from 1 September 2023 to 31 August 2028 Per sub-block: {{ pass_35327 }}
Application fee Max. 4 sub-blocks in restricted areas 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264 or 265: {{ pass_35269 }}
Other: {{ pass_35270 }}
&{{ pass_35268 }}

*Other size restrictions may apply in restricted areas or due to specific legislative requirements

Conditional surrender

In some cases (e.g. to consolidate adjacent authorities), you may conditionally surrender your authority in favour of a new one to include the whole or part of the land. If you apply for a conditional surrender, the existing authority will remain in force until your new application is decided. If your application is successful, the surrender will take effect immediately prior to the grant of the new authority.

How to apply


You can apply online through MyMinesOnline or using a hard-copy form. You can also apply through a call for tenders.


You can apply using a hard-copy form or a call for tenders.

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