Compulsory and voluntary partial surrenders

What you need to know as a mining title holder
Date: Monday, 11 December 2023

If you are a mining title holder, it is important to know the difference between a compulsory and a voluntary surrender.

Whether a tenement is surrendered voluntarily or compulsorily, understanding when to lodge and what is required is critical to ensuring the tenure is compliant under the Mining Act 1978. It is also important to know that any voluntary partial surrenders may relate to a title holder’s compulsory partial surrender requirements.

The Title Compliance Branch is responsible for administering post grant title administration compliance.

The Compulsory and Voluntary Partial Surrenders table below aims to break down the two surrender types and answer some of the common questions title holders may have about the differences.



Compulsory Partial Surrender (CPS)

Voluntary Partial Surrender (VPS)

Section of the Mining Act 1978

Section 65 – The holder is required to relinquish 40 per cent of the blocks the subject of an exploration licence at the end of the sixth year.


Note – Exploration Licences applied for prior to 10/02/2006 are subject to a drop off of 50 per cent at the end of the third year and of 50 per cent at the end of the fourth year.

Section 95 – The holder may voluntarily lodge a surrender of part of a live tenement.

Lodgement form

Form 14

Form 14

Both require a map showing the area to be relinquished and the area to be retained.

Tenement type

Exploration Licences granted with more than 10 blocks.

All tenement types.

When to lodge

CPS is required to be lodged before the sixth year anniversary date.

A VPS may be lodged at any time the licence is in force.

When registered

A CPS is registered and effective at 12:00 midnight on the sixth year anniversary date.

A VPS is registered at time/date of lodgement. Unless affected by caveat.

Note: cannot be withdrawn. If defective it may be rejected.

Is provisional lodgement possible?

Yes, if the assessing officer is of the of opinion that an error or defect in the document may be corrected. If this is the case then, a letter will be sent to you explaining the error/defect and requesting the original document be corrected and re-submitted within 14 days.

What if there is an applicant for forfeiture?

(s100 & s963A)

An applicant for forfeiture will not receive 14-days prior right to apply on the ground surrendered.

The applicant for forfeiture will get 14-day prior right to apply on the ground surrendered.

What if there is a caveat?

(Types of Caveats - s.122)

(Effect of Caveat - s.122D)

A courtesy letter will be sent via registered mail to the caveator advising of registration of CPS but this does not affect progression of the CPS.

Absolute or subject to claim caveat

The caveat must either be:

  • withdrawn prior to VPS lodgement to be registered time and date of lodgement;
  • withdrawn after lodgement of VPS, registration will be time and date of withdrawal of Caveat; or
  • a letter of consent from the caveator and required Warden’s Court order given.

A 14-day notice will be sent to the caveator should the above not have occurred. At midnight on the fourteenth day, the caveat will lapse and cease to have effect. Then at 8:30am on the next working day the VPS will be registered.

If the Warden has given an order that the caveat remain in place and the VPS be registered, it will be registered as at time and date of signing of the order or 10:00am of the date of the order.

Consent caveat

Without consent from the caveator or withdrawal of the consent caveat (prior or simultaneously to lodgement) the VPS will be rejected.

The caveator can request the Warden make an order that the VPS be registered whilst the caveat remains in force. This must be prior to or with lodgement of the VPS.

What if there is a mortgage?

(Reg. 47)

No requirement for mortgagee consent to lodge.

Written mortgagee consent is required to lodge.

If not lodged on time.


If the CPS is not lodged prior to sixth year, the tenement holder will be sent a letter requesting the CPS be lodged within 35 days.


When the CPS is then lodged, it is registered at that time and date of lodgement. For example, it is not backdated to midnight on sixth year anniversary date.

This has implications for seventh  year rent. In this case the full amount of rent is payable in respect to the number of blocks in the licence at the beginning of the seventh  year.

Can be done any time.

Failure to lodge


If the CPS is not lodged within the 35-day compliance time, the licence becomes subject to forfeiture action.


Shape after surrender

(r.44, r.45, r.92)

The shape of all tenements, except Exploration Licences, after surrender must constitute a single area and be in the form of a rectangle. If the presence of boundaries of mining tenements, other boundaries or natural features make it necessary or desirable to vary this shape, each side of the tenement shall be a straight line and where possible at right angles to an adjacent side or parallel to an opposite side.

Exploration Licences may be up to three discrete areas after a CPS and up to six after a VPS.

Special rules

  • CPS not required if the tenement has been granted Retention Status.
  • A CPS is not required on a licence containing 10 or less blocks.

A VPS can count towards the CPS requirement if:

  • any blocks are surrendered PRIOR to the sixth year anniversary date; or
  • any whole blocks have been converted to (granted, not under application) to another tenement type such as a Mining Lease or General-Purpose Lease.