Basic Raw Materials (BRM) are a finite resource and their efficient use is required to ensure an ongoing supply to support economic development in Western Australia.
For the purposes of resource protection, BRM include sand (including silica sand), clay, hard rock (including dimension stone), limestone (including metallurgical limestone), agricultural lime, gravel, gypsum, other construction and road building materials and materials which may substitute BRM. These materials are produced relatively cheaply, with the major cost being the transport to the construction site. A ready supply of BRM close to established and developing parts of the State is essential in keeping down the costs of land development and contributing to affordable housing.
DEMIRS provides spatial data and information regarding BRM to ensure its importance at both local and regional levels is considered at the earliest stages of government’s land use planning, and that BRM resources are identified and utilised efficiently through the planning and development processes.
Limestone and limesand also have important uses in agriculture. For examples by combining lime and gypsum to their soils, growers in low rainfall areas, with predominantly acidic soils, have the potential to increase wheat yields by up to 30 per cent (DPIRD, 2019).
Mining Lease versus Extractive Industry Licence for BRM
The administration of BRM extraction in Western Australia is complex, with the relevant legislation and approval authorities dependent upon land ownership and, in some cases, use of the material.
BRM extraction can occur on Crown land or private land. BRM extraction on Crown Land (unallocated, reserves or pastoral leases) for commercial sale requires a Mining Lease. Mining tenements are issued under the Mining Act 1978 and are administered by DEMIRS. BRM extraction on private land (freehold) requires approval under the Planning and Development Act 2005 (Development Approval) and the Local Government Act 1995 (Extractive Industry Licences). This is due to BRM on private land not being defined as a mineral for the purposes of the Mining Act 1978.
To gain a general understanding of the requirements associated with BRM proposals on private land, proponents are encouraged to read Planning guidelines – Basic Raw Materials published by West Australian Planning Commission (WAPC)/Department of Planning Lands and Heritage (DPLH). The Guideline, which supersedes Basic Raw Materials Applicants’ manual (2009), has two parts and aims to assist proponents, referral agencies and decision-making authorities to implement State Planning Policy 2.4 Planning for Basic Raw Materials (SPP 2.4).
Additionally, commercial BRM exploration and extraction requires lodgement of Mining Operational Notices (MON) (1,2) form – see: MON 1 - Notice of information about mine operator and MON 2 - Notice of information about non-exploration mining operations.
The Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 also require the preparation of a blast plan and written blast records before an explosive is used to blast rock or similar solid material, or to damage, destroy or demolish anything, whether on or under land or water. For more information see What are blast plans?
BRM State Planning Policies
The importance of BRM is recognised in State’s Planning Policies.
- State Planning Policy 2.4 – Planning for Basic Raw Materials (SPP 2.4) sets out the planning considerations used by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for extractive industries and the responsible use of basic raw material resources.. The objectives of this policy are to:
- ensure BRM and its regional importance is considered at the earliest stages of the planning process;
- protect BRM in SGS areas and ES by avoiding encroachment from incompatible land uses;
- ensure BRM resources are used efficiently in land use planning and development;
- identify BRM extraction opportunities through sequential land use without compromising the final intended land use; and
- ensure the extraction of BRM avoids, minimises or mitigates any adverse impacts on the community, water resources and biodiversity values.
- State Planning Policy 2.5 - Rural Planning (SPP 2.5) addresses BRM matters on rural land. Until such time as SPP 2.5 is reviewed, where there is a conflict between SPP 2.5 and this policy in relation to BRM matters, this policy prevails to the extent of any inconsistency.
Region Planning Schemes
The WAPC prepare region schemes for the effective planning and coordination of land use and development. The schemes are approved by Parliament. There are three region schemes in operation in Western Australia - the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS), Peel Region Scheme (PRS) and Greater Bunbury Region Scheme (GBRS).
PRS and GBRS have specific policies and mapping to protect important BRM (now Significant Geological Supply (SGS) areas) and Strategic Minerals. SGS are areas identified by DEMIRS as having State significance due to the size of the resource, relative scarcity, demand and/or location near growth areas and transport routes. SPP 2.4 provides additional support for the inclusion of SGS areas and protection policies in Region Schemes and Local Strategies, Schemes and Structure Plans.
BRM spatial information and useful links
DEMIRS has a range of publicly accessible systems and resources. DEMIRS’ interactive geological map tool GeoVIEW.WA identifies, among others:
- Significant Geological Supplies (SGS) - are BRM areas identified by DEMIRS as having State significance (and as the highest priority extraction areas for BRM) due to the size of the resource, relative scarcity, demand and/or location near growth areas and transport routes.
- Extraction Sites – commercial extraction areas for BRM and BRM quarries, and include operating, approved and proposed commercial (extractive) industries under the Planning and Development Act 2005, the Local Government Act 1995, the Mining Act 1978 or a combination of these legislations.
- Exclusion Areas - areas contain known BRM resources but are considered unfavourable for excavation. These areas are likely to have protected environmental values or are excluded for planning or infrastructure reasons. There is a presumption against approval of extraction in these locations.
Select layers under ‘Land Use Planning’ in the table of contents. Note not all areas of the State are mapped for BRM, for areas mapped see Shires with Completed SGS Mapping layer.
BRM spatial resource data will continue to be updated over time. However, it is important to note that not all Extractive Sites are captured in the BRM data due to constraints in accessing information, as well as the fact that some Extractive Sites may only be in operation for short periods of time and their operation may commence and cease in between updates.
For further information about BRM or land use planning, email: