Legislation, Fees and Policy

Acts and Regulations

Primary Legislation

Mineral exploration and mining are regulated under the Minerals Development Acts 1940 -1999.  The Minerals Development Act 2017 was enacted on 26 July 2017 and is due to be commenced. 

Minerals Development Act 2017

This Act will provide for:

  • the regulation of prospecting for and development of minerals;
  • a statutory vesting of the exclusive right to work minerals in the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, subject to the payment of compensation;
  • compulsory acquisition of other rights necessary for efficient development of minerals, subject to payment of compensation;
  • the payment to the State of rents and royalties from the extraction of minerals; and
  • preparation and implementation of rehabilitation plans for abandoned mine sites.


This Act is available for download (pdf, 1MB).

Minerals Development Acts 1940 - 1999 

  • Minerals Development Act 1940. This Act provides the definition of minerals, mineral ownership, prospecting licences, State Mining Leases, arbitration, etc.
  • Petroleum and other Minerals Development Act 1960. This Act removed Petroleum from the 1940 Act, and also made a number of other amendments to that Act.
  • Minerals Development Act 1979. Vests in the Minister the exclusive right to work privately owned minerals and provides for permitting of the working of those minerals by third parties, subject to payment of compensation.
  • Minerals Development Act 1995. Deals with renewals of Prospecting Licences and application fees for State Mining Facilities.
  • Minerals Development Act 1999. Clarifies State ownership of certain minerals and addresses the transfer of the right to compensation under the 1979 act.
  • Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006. Part 9 of this Act contains provisions relating to the treatment by the rehabilitation of lands affected by mines and former mines, and for the compulsory acquisition of lands for the purposes of such rehabilitation.

Secondary Legislation

In addition to primary legislation, Regulations have been made under the Minerals Development Acts 1940 - 1999. These Regulations cover fees, information to be provided for prospecting licence applications, procedures for claiming compensation etc.

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