Obligations when prospecting

When prospecting on Crown land, you are required to:

  • ensure the least possible damage to land surfaces
  • fill in disturbances on the surface of the land  made while conducting activities that are likely to endanger the safety of any person or animal
  • take all necessary steps to prevent fire, damage to trees or other property and livestock
  • not obstruct any public thoroughfare or undermine any road, railway, dam or building - endangering public safety
  • not remove any fencing, timber etc. previously erected around or placed on an abandoned shaft orpit, etc. - rendering the area unsafe.

Prospectors may remove limited samples from Crown land, however, activities such as strip mining (using front-end loaders and bulldozers or similar machinery to strip the surface of soil or vegetation) are not permitted. These types of operations may only be carried out on a granted mining tenement and conditions will be applied that require compliance with the methods of rehabilitation laid down by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety .

While prospecting activities are allowed as described above, it is an offence under the Mining Act 1978 to carry out mining and exploration on any land without authorisation. A penalty of $150,000 (plus $15,000 per day if the offence is a continuing one) for individuals or $300,000 (plus $30,000 per day) for body corporates apply.