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Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy Consultation

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The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its approach to critical minerals and high-tech metals.

The NSW Government is interested in opportunities to drive growth of critical minerals and high-tech metals and how we can best support this vital sector into the future.

Consultation period: 9am, Monday 11 September 2023 – 5pm, Friday 17 November 2023 

The consultation will focus on but is not limited to:

  • creating more local jobs by encouraging domestic processing and manufacturing of products with significant critical minerals inputs like solar panels;
  • developing skills and training opportunities in the workforce to reinforce the state’s natural competitive advantages and the unique mix of deposits found in the state;
  • further encouraging greenfield critical minerals exploration across the state, including through the release of geological survey data;
  • examining the economics of the industry and the best ways to leverage the Government’s purchasing power to ensure investment growth;
  • creating additional certainty for the industry and support NSW’s strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) position;
  • attracting investment for innovation, research and development in NSW; and
  • entrenching NSW’s role as a preferred supplier of critical minerals to global trading partners.

Written submissions should be sent by email to:

Closed consultations

Community consultation reporting changes commence 7 October 2022

The NSW Government is progressing a range of reforms to support the responsible development of the state’s mineral resources and to help position NSW to become Australia’s premier destination for exploration and mining investment.

Mining, Exploration and Geoscience (‘the Department’) sought comments on the proposed changes to the way community consultation reports were shared in July 2022. The code has been updated following industry consultation with changes starting on 7 October 2022 including:

  • Title holders will have two months to publish their annual Community Consultation Report from their title anniversary date.
  • Title holders are required to publish their Community Consultation reports online or make them available on request within 14 days. Title holders will no longer submit their Community Consultation reports to the Department.
  • When employing airborne surveys, title holders need to include airborne surveying as part of the community consultation strategy and engagement plans. A new Airborne Surveys factsheet (PDF, 115.1 KB) has been published.

For further information on community consultation reporting, please go here.

Mining and Petroleum (Onshore) Regulation Amendments – Response to consultation feedback and commencement of reforms

Mining, Exploration and Geoscience (MEG) is progressing a range of reforms that support the responsible development of the State’s mineral resources.

The NSW Government committed to a review of mining regulations, policies and processes to improve transparency, efficiency and community confidence in line with best practice regulation. As a result of this review, a set of legislative amendments are being made that will improve the regulatory framework and processes for mineral resource development in NSW.

The Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (the amending Act) received assent in June 2022 and a first stage of reforms under the amending Act commenced operating in October.

Public consultation on a second stage of regulatory reforms in support of the amending Act took place from 21 September to 19 October 2022. Five submissions were received. The feedback received was carefully considered and some of the recommendations made have been incorporated into the Mining Amendment Regulation 2022.

On 14 December 2022, the Governor approved the commencement of the relevant amending Act provisions. The accompanying amendment Regulations were also made and an order for the establishment of a Mineral Allocation Area (MAA) for hydrogen and non-metals was declared.

All the provisions in the amendment Regulations will commence operating on
1 March 2023, with the exception of the following three provisions:

  • partial cancellations of authorities to identify the land sought to be retained will commence on 13 January 2023 in conjunction with associated amendments of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 2022
  • future fee and levy adjustment consultation processes will commence on
    1 May 2023, alongside the amending Act’s Schedule 1[120]
  • the use of the Map Grid of Australia 2020 standard with certain applications under the Mining Act 1992 will commence on 1 March 2024.

The commencement proclamation listing the sections of the amending Act being commenced together with the amendment Regulations can be accessed on the NSW Legislation website.

View the closed public consultation for: Draft Mining Amendment Regulation 2022 and draft Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Regulation 2022 

Suspension of mining operations

The NSW Government is progressing a range of reforms to support the responsible development of the state’s mineral resources and to help position NSW to become Australia’s premier destination for exploration and mining investment.

Mining, Exploration and Geoscience undertook consultation on a draft Suspension of Mining Operations Policy (PDF, 87.55 KB) from 16 February to 18 March 2022.

The policy aims to clarify the statutory condition on mining leases that requires the lease holder to obtain written consent to suspend mining operations in the mining area and to only suspend operations in accordance with that consent. The policy details how consent to suspend mining operations will be provided, the application process to be followed and the circumstances that will be considered when granting, refusing or revoking consent to suspend mining operations.

Consultation has closed and all feedback received during the consultation period has been considered and analysed. Refinements have been made to the policy in response to the feedback received. A summary of consultation submissions and responses is available here. (PDF, 183.26 KB)

The Suspension of Mining Operations Policy (PDF, 87.55 KB) commenced operation on 1 August 2022.

For further information about the policy and how to apply, please refer to the Suspension of mining operations page.

Public comment on new coal and petroleum titles

View Public Comments