Quarry permits and approvals
Differences between mines and quarries
A quarry is a site where material for construction purposes, such as construction sand, gravel, and quarry rock, is extracted from the earth.
Because the definition of 'mineral' in the Mineral Resources Act 1989 excludes most materials used for construction purposes, quarry (or extractive industry) sites are largely approved and administered by local government under the Planning Act 2016.
Most major extractive industry sites are approved under the Planning Act and administered according to a development permit issued by the relevant local government.
When applying for a development permit for a quarry, you also need to apply for an environmental authority (EA) under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Any quarry extracting over 5000t per year is required to have an EA. Depending on the size of your operation, you will need to apply for an EA using a standard application, a variation application, or a site-specific application..
Applications and assessments (including those for the EA) are managed by the local government using the State Assessment and Referral Agency's development assessment rules (PDF, 1.2MB) and development assessment process (PDF, 174KB). For more information contact the relevant local government.
Sales permits for state quarry material
You may need a sales permit to establish a new quarry on state land and freehold land where ownership of the quarry material is reserved to the state (PDF, 206KB) material is not authorised under other legislation). A native title assessment will be required as part of the application process.
Riverine quarrying materials
You will need a quarry material allocation in addition to a development permit if you intend to extract quarry material from a watercourse or freshwater lake.
Queensland mining legislation (Mineral Resources Act 1989) specifically excludes most materials used for construction purposes, including quarry rock, sand, gravel and fill.
A mining permit will be necessary if material produced for sale is explicitly defined as a mineral in the Mineral Resources Act (e.g. silica sand and limestone used for their chemical properties, rock mined in block or slab form for building or monumental purposes, and foundry sand).
If a quarry is established in an area covered by a mining tenure, the extraction activity must be authorised separately from the mining tenure.
Explosives licences and permits
Quarry operators must ensure they have the appropriate licences for the management of explosives under the Explosives Act 1999.
- Read about dredging and removal of quarry material from under tidal water.
- Read about state planning laws.
- Last reviewed: 25 Jul 2017
- Last updated: 1 Sep 2022