Regulations on Exploration and Mining on Commonwealth Land

Section 124 of the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 [External Site] allows, inter alia, for regulations to be made on the following matters:

  • the exploration for minerals on relevant land;
  • the mining for, or recovery of, minerals on or from relevant land; and
  • the carrying on of operations, and the execution of works, relating to the above.

To date, no regulations have been made pursuant to section 124, however the amendments to the LAA Act 1989 effective (12 July 2008) now provides a platform for the making of mining regulations .The Act provides at subsection 124(8) that until such time as the regulations are made and take effect, the provisions of the 1955 legislation continue. Essentially these provide that the Minister for Finance may authorise exploration on Commonwealth lands while the Governor-General may authorise the granting of leases/licences to mine on Commonwealth land.

All proposals to explore or mine on Commonwealth land are considered in accordance with the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 [External Site] , and the Native Title Act 1993 [External Site] , where applicable.

For information on how to make applications to access Commonwealth land for mineral exploration and mining and the process for consideration of these applications, please see Access to Commonwealth land for mineral exploration and mining activities.

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