State Indigenous land use agreements

About state agreements

A state Indigenous land use agreement (agreement) is an agreement that has been negotiated between the State, mining representative bodies, land councils and traditional land owners. It contains previously negotiated conditions that address native title requirements.

These agreements are generally made for small-scale mining ventures, such as alluvial gold and tin miners, opal and gemstone miners. They are available only for applications made under the Mineral Resource Act 1989, and only to those targeting minerals, not coal.

A state agreement is registered with the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT), and binds the resource authority holder, the native title party and the Queensland Government to the conditions within the agreement.

If you satisfy a state agreement's eligibility criteria, you can 'deed into' it. See below for information about deeding into a state agreement.

Current state agreements

Registered state agreements currently in place are:

Eligibility to deed into a state agreement

To determine whether you're eligible to deed into a state agreement, please refer to the relevant agreement. Eligible applicants must meet the definition of small miner as set out in the agreement and the applicant must be wholly within the agreement area (see the table below). As this table lists only key criteria, please read the relevant agreement document to see the full list of eligibility criteria.

State agreement Key eligibility criteria

NQMA small scale mining agreement:

  • Western Yalanji agreement
  • Ewamian agreement
  • Djungan agreement

Prospecting permits, mining claims, mineral development licences, exploration permits and mining leases

Term: can be any term

Maximum areas held:

  • Mining leases - up to but no more than 300ha to be held by the holder (allowances made for applications covering multiple watercourses)
  • Exploration permit holders - no more than aggregate total of 150 sub-blocks held within Queensland
  • Mineral development licences - no more than 150ha in Queensland

General conditions on state agreement

Below are conditions that are usually included in each state agreement. Please refer to the individual state agreement for specific information and a full list of conditions.

  • Applicants must be holders of a standard environmental authority (formerly level 2 environmental authority).
  • Restrictions apply to the amount of land disturbance at any one time.
  • The conditions imposed under a state agreement are in addition to any mandatory conditions under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and imposed by the environmental authority.


If there is a current state agreement and your application satisfies the criteria of a registered state agreement and you agree to its conditions, we may grant the resource authority under the state agreement.

Once you execute the deed and return it to us with any required payments, the native title process is complete.

If you don't wish to deed into the agreement, you need to complete another native title process.

View the process flow chart for state agreements (PDF, 53KB).

Associated costs

There are costs associated with deeding into a state agreement, which vary for each agreement. Below is some general information, but you'll find more specifics in each agreement.

You usually need to pay:

  • inspection fees for the completion of all native title claimant group inspections
  • land use payments at grant or renewal, and possibly annual fees.

Also consider...


Small business hotline: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)