Small-scale mining code

Because small-scale mining activities generally have a relatively low environmental impact, you may be able to operate without an environmental authority (EA) provided your activities meet the eligibility criteria below.

If you already have an environmental authority and meet the criteria, you can apply to surrender your environmental authority when you renew your resource authority, or at any other time.

Small-scale mining code

Projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a small-scale mining activity do not need an environmental authority and can operate under the Small-scale mining code (PDF, 206KB).

The code was reviewed in September 2016 to reflect administrative and legislative changes. No change has been made to the intent, scope or operation of the original 2013 version.

Miners operating under the code must follow its guidelines and mandatory conditions, as well as comply with the general environmental duty of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Eligibility criteria for small-scale mining code

Mining activities carried out under the resource authorities shown in the table below are eligible.

Note that activities cannot occur:

Mining activities eligible for EA exemption

Resource authorityMineral minedMining activitiesArea of authority
Prospecting permitAnyAnyAny
Mining claimCorundum, gemstones or other precious stonesMachine or hand-mining20ha or less
No more than 5ha can be disturbed at any time
Exploration permitMinerals other than coalAny4 sub-blocks or less
No more than 0.1ha can be disturbed at any time


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