Our regulatory framework
Mining, Exploration and Geoscience (MEG) administers the legislation relating to exploration, mining and petroleum production in NSW.
The Mining Act 1992 and its associated regulations govern the exploration for and mining of minerals and coal in NSW. In addition, approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are required before obtaining approval to commence mining.
The Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 and its associated regulations govern onshore exploration for and production of petroleum in NSW. In addition, approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are required before obtaining approval to commence production. .
Further information regarding this legislation is available at Legislation
Titles and applications
Applications may be made to MEG for the following mining or petroleum titles or to transfer a mining or petroleum title:
- Exploration Licence – this is a title that permits exploration activities
- Assessment Lease – this provides exclusive rights to land containing a well-defined resource for a period of time when there is either uncertainty about the viability of the resource or further resource definition is required prior to commencement of extraction or production.
- Mining Lease – this title authorises the extraction of minerals or coal
- Petroleum Production Lease – this title authorises the production of petroleum
Mining Lease or Petroleum Production Lease applicants cannot be granted a lease until they have obtained development approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and relevant planning instruments.
Further information in respect of applying for a mining title is available at: Applying to explore and mine in NSW
The New South Wales government encourages sustainable and efficient development of natural resources, subject to the impacts of such activities being appropriately assessed and regulated.
Mining leases are granted with conditions to regulate the mining activity. Conditions may include but are not limited to:
- the timing and progress of the exploration, development and conduct of exploration and mining operations;
- environmental management, protection and rehabilitation;
- compliance with Codes of Practice, ensuring public safety;
- rehabilitation security deposits; and
- community relations.
MEG, together with other authorities (such as Revenue NSW), also administer other aspects of the Mining Act 1992 including:
NSW Resource Regulator
The NSW Resources Regulator (within MEG) is the work health and safety regulator for NSW mines, petroleum sites and related services sites. Further information regarding work health and safety and Codes of Practice and Guidance is available at https://www.resourcesregulator.nsw.gov.au/our-role/legislation/whs-legislation
The Regulator is also responsible for regulating:
- rehabilitation under the Mining Act 1992 and the conditions of the relevant mining lease.
- exploration, mining and processing of radioactive ore in NSW, pursuant to the Radiation Control Act 1990 and;
- work health and safety obligations as contained in the Explosives Act 2003 and associated regulations.