Mining lease

A mining lease allows you to conduct larger scale mining operations. Mining leases can be issued for any specified mineral.

Activities permitted under a mining lease

A mining lease allows you to machine-mine for specified minerals and conduct other activities associated with mining or promoting the activity of mining.

Activities associated with mining or promoting the activity of mining

A mining lease may be granted for purposes other than those directly relating to mining.

Constructing renewable energy infrastructure

The construction of renewable energy infrastructure, including wind, solar and associated energy storage systems, on a new or existing mining lease is an authorised activity under the Mining Resources Act 1989 if it is for the primary purpose of powering mining operations (e.g. wash plants, conveyor belts, or on-site offices).

If you include renewable energy infrastructure as a purpose on your mining lease, you can proceed with construction without obtaining building approvals under the Planning Act 2016.

The process for including renewable energy infrastructure as a 'purpose' on a new or existing mining lease varies.

  • New mining lease – include the renewable energy infrastructure as a 'purpose' on the mining lease application.
  • Existing specific purpose mining lease – where the mining lease has a specified purpose, you may need to apply to add the renewable energy infrastructure as a 'purpose'. Note: This addition may have native title implications, as conditions of the mining lease will change.
  • Existing mineral mining lease – other purposes, such as renewable energy infrastructure, associated with mining are automatically included.

Before constructing any infrastructure you should:

  • contact the relevant landholder to discuss if the additional activities will change the circumstances or conditions of the original access/compensation agreement, including the longer-term impacts if the infrastructure remains. If both parties agree to updating the compensation agreement, the revised version can be filed with the Department of Resources. If both parties are unable to agree on changes to the compensation agreement, either party may apply for the Land Court to vary the access agreement
  • verify with the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation if amendments need to be made to the Environmental Authority for your mining lease
  • confirm whether or not you require an authority to operate electricity infrastructure on your mining lease to support mining activities – these licences are administered by the Department of Energy and Public Works under the Electricity Act 1994 and the Electricity Regulation 2006.

Exporting surplus renewable energy

If you generate more renewable energy than is required to run your mining operations, you may want to participate in the energy market by exporting the surplus energy to the national grid or to nearby off-lease infrastructure unrelated to mining. Approval for this activity cannot be granted under the Mineral Resources Act 1989, and additional regulatory requirements may apply. We encourage you to seek legal advice before undertaking this activity.

Filming on a mining lease

Commercial filming (e.g. television productions) within the area of a mining lease is not an authorised activity associated with mining.

If a production company wants to film on private land, it is their responsibility to seek permission from the landholder. However, if the filming captures mining activities, then consent will also be required from the mining lease holder.

Environmental authorities

Before we grant a resource authority you will require the appropriate environmental authority.

Native title

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

Landholder notification requirement

The application process for new mining leases provides an opportunity for landholders to object to the application and to seek compensation (including conditions of access) for the use of their land.

When you apply for a new mining lease you must notify landholders about the application and provide them with a copy of the:

Your mining lease notice letter will contain more information about these requirements.

The information in these documents will also be relevant when you start negotiating compensation.

Compensation for landholders

Mining leases cannot be granted or renewed unless compensation for landholders has been settled, either through a compensation agreement or Land Court determination.

For applications lodged from 25 October 2018, if you are unable to reach an agreement, either you or the landholder can, at any time, refer disputes to the Land Court for a decision.

Your mining lease application may be refused if you don't have an agreement or haven't applied to the Land Court within 3 months of:

  • the day the Governor in Council consented to your application (if it's at least partly over a reserve)
  • or
  • the last objection day for the application (if no one objected to your application)
  • or
  • the day the Land Court issued a recommendation about the grant of the mining lease.

Main features of mining leases

Specified mineral Any mineral
Prerequisite authority Prospecting permit, exploration permit or mineral development licence (for coal mining lease)
Duration Depends on identified reserves and projected mine life
Size No size restrictions, except in restricted areas
Renewable Yes
Rent Variable rate: {{ pass_35333 }} per hectare
A fixed rate may be determined by special agreement
Application fee Coal: {{ pass_35288 }}
Corundum, gemstones and other precious stones: {{ pass_35289 }}
Eluvial, colluvial, alluvial gold or tin: {{ pass_35290 }}
Other: {{ pass_35291 }}

The Boundary identification practice manual (PDF, 321KB) outlines marking out requirements. If you are required to mark out the boundary of the authority, you will require either a current authority or landowner consent to enter the land to undertake this activity.

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.

Deferring the first year's rent for a critical mineral mining lease

If you're mining prescribed critical minerals, you can request to defer the first year's rent when you apply for a new mining lease.

Find out more about mining lease rent and rent deferral.

How to apply

You can apply online through MyMinesOnline or using a hard-copy form.

Once you have lodged your application and we have assessed it, we will provide a public notice. You will need to publish this to give the community the opportunity to object to your application. Read our guide to the application process for resource authorities for more information, including instructions for notifying the public of your application.

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