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Mining Lease Application Assessment: Processes within the Minerals and Energy Division PIRSA. MINING ACT, 1971. Why do we have mining legislation? To provide secure legal title for the exploration and development of the State’s mineral assets

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Mining Lease Application Assessment:

Processes within theMinerals and Energy Division PIRSA

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  • Why do we have mining legislation?

    • To provide secure legal title for the exploration and development of the State’s mineral assets

    • To provide landowners and other parties with the right to comment on mining title applications

    • To provide for the payment of rental and royalties to the Crown who is the owner of all minerals within South Australia

    • To regulate mining operations and ensure activities are conducted within the framework of sustainable development

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Exploring for Minerals

  • Exploration in South Australia

    • Large scale exploration is conducted under an Exploration Licence, which can be granted over an area not exceeding 1000km2

    • Exploration activities include drilling, geophysical and geochemical surveys, airborne surveys and surface sampling

    • It is this large-scale exploration that may lead to the identification of a valuable mineral resource

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Securing the Mining Title

  • Notice of Entry

    • Prior to gaining access to mineral land in SA for the purpose of exploring or mining a person must first be authorised

    • Authority can be obtained by:

      • Serving on a landowner a prescribed notice of entry(21 days prior to entry)

      • Entering into a written agreement with the landowner

    • If you are a freehold landowner you have a right of objection to entry. An objection must be lodged with the Warden’s Court and within 3 months from the date of service of the form.

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Securing the Mining Title

  • Mineral Claim

    • A mineral claim is a prerequisite to a mining lease or retention lease

    • A mineral claim can be pegged out over a maximum area of 250 hectares

    • Posts are placed in the ground at each corner of the mineral claim

    • Appropriate approvals are required before declared equipment can be used on a mineral claim and to remove more than one tonne of material from the site

    • A mineral claim does not authorise the sale of any minerals

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Securing the Mining Title

  • Mining Lease

    • After a Mineral Claim has been registered, and you wish to proceed to a mining operation you must apply for a mining lease

    • An application for a mining lease must be accompanied with a detailed mining and rehabilitation plan, which is then subject to a strict internal/external assessment and consultation process

  • Annual Rental

    • Upon the grant of a mining lease, the mining operator must pay an annual rent to the Crown

    • Where the mining lease is situated on freehold land, the government will refund 95% of that rental to the landowner

    • The current rate is $30.75 per hectare

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Exempt Land

  • Exempt land is defined in Section 9 of the Mining Act, 1971.

    • Some examples are:

      cultivated field, orchard, vineyard, land within 400m of a residence and land within 150m of a spring, well, reservoir or dam

  • Waiver of Exemption

    • If land within an exploration or mining title is exempt land, mining operations cannot commence on the exempt land, until the landowner has waived that exemption

    • The exemption can be waived by agreement between the landowner and the mining operator or by order of the Warden’s Court

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  • Entitlements to Landowners

    • A landowner is entitled to receive compensation for any economic loss, hardship and inconvenience suffered as a consequence of mining operations

    • When negotiating compensation the following matters should be considered:

      • Any damage to the land caused by mining operations.

      • Any loss of productivity or profits as a result of mining operations

      • Any other relevant matters

    • If, the landowner and mining operator cannot agree on the amount of compensation, the matter may be determined by the appropriate court

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Warden’s Court

  • The Warden’s Court:

    • Has the jurisdiction to determine matters relating to a mining tenement

    • Is scheduled most Thursdays @ 3.30pm in Adelaide

    • Allows you to represent yourself in a matter before the Court

    • Allows you to appeal a judgement or order of the Warden’s Court to the ERD Court

    • Can only deal with proceedings relating to a claim for not more than $150,000

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Mineral LeaseApplication

Mining Proposal


Supporting Documentation



Comments from Relevant Parties

incorporated into revised proposal

Mining Lease Assessment - Stage 1

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Government Agencies

Planning SA

Transport SA

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation

Environment Protection Authority

Native Vegetation Unit

Environment & Heritage

Local Government

and any other relevant agencies

Minerals & Energy - PIRSA

Regulation and Rehabilitation Branch

Geological Survey Branch

Land Access Branch - Environment Unit

Public notification


State Newspaper

Government Gazette

Consultation Process

  • Copies of the Mining Proposal are circulated to various parties for comment

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Alternate conditions proposed



Recommend to Minister of Mines

Crown Law for

Land Tenure Check / Freehold Land / Perpetual Land

Offer of Lease with Lease Conditions

Conditions Not Acceptable


Mining Lease Assessment - Stage 2

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Mining Lease

  • An approved Mining and Rehabilitation Program describing the proposed mining operations and rehabilitation measures must be provided prior to commencement of operations

  • Mining Leases may be granted for a maximum of 21 years though 7 years is most common.

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Rehabilitation Security Bond

  • A Rehabilitation Security Bond must be lodged to ensure the obligations in relation to the rehabilitation of land disturbed by mining operations are met by the miner and not by public funding

  • A Rehabilitation Security Bond must be in the form of an Unconditional Bank Guarantee or cash and lodged prior to the commencement of mining operations

  • The amount of the Rehabilitation Security Bond will be regularly reviewed to ascertain the amount reflects the actual rehabilitation liability