Miner’s Rights are required for each person wanting to prospect on Crown land, which includes pastoral lease land, vacant Crown land and some reserved lands (common, public utility and mining).
Passing and re-passing on pastoral leases
Prospectors may pass or re-pass over any Crown land to conduct Miner’s Right activities. However, if prospectors want to pass or re-pass over restricted land or any other Crown land, they must take all reasonable steps to notify Crown land occupiers of their intentions.
Miner’s Right holders intending to prospect on pastoral leases must take all reasonable and practicable steps to:
- notify pastoralists where they will be and for how long. This ensures the safety of the prospectors if the pastoralist has planned activities (such as mustering, baiting, vermin culling, etc).
- take all necessary steps to prevent fire, damage to trees, other property or livestock
- cause as little inconvenience as possible to pastoralists and restrict the number of passes or re-passes to a minimum
- comply with reasonable request made by pastoralists
- repair any damage caused by vehicles to tracks and to lease holder improvements, during the passing and repassing.
It is an offence to use firearms on a pastoral lease. The Land Administration Act 1997 under Offences on Crown land, section 267 (2)(h) states: ‘A person who, without either the permission of the Minister or reasonable excuse – discharges any firearm or other weapon on Crown land, commits an offence and is liable to a penalty of $10,000 and, in the case of an offence of a continuing nature, to a daily penalty of $200’.
Penalties also apply under the Firearms Act 1973 for carrying firearms across or using firearms on pastoral leases without pastoralist consent.
Taking a dog on to pastoral leases is also restricted unless pastoralist consent has been obtained. Under Common Law, pastoralists have the right to quiet enjoyment of their land. Dogs could have an adverse impact on their business function with livestock.
You must take all necessary steps to prevent fire damage to trees and other property. You cannot burn off to clear land for prospecting. There are significant penalties under the Bush Fires Act 1954 for wilfully lighting fires that cause damage or injury.
For further clarification of general rights to prospect and protection of certain Crown land refer to sections 20 and 40D of the Mining Act 1978.
Other legal requirements
You cannot prospect:
- On land within 400 metres of the outer edge of any water works, race, dam, well or bore
- On land within 100 metres of:
- land under crop
- a yard, stockyard, garden, cultivated field, orchard, vineyard, plantation, airstrip or airfield
- occupied land on which there is a house or other substantial building
- the site of any cemetery or burial ground
unless you have the consent of the pastoralist/land owner.
If written approval is not obtained from the pastoralist the prospector is in breach and can be subject to fines under the Mining Act 1978, or for compensation to the pastoralist for loss of use or damage to the land. Compensation is to be agreed between the parties or can be determined by the Mining Warden.