Extensions of term for prospecting licences

Section 45(1a) of the Mining Act 1978 allows the holder of a granted prospecting licence, which was applied for on or after 10 February 2006, to apply to extend it beyond its initial four year term if a prescribed ground exists under Regulation 16A of the Mining Regulations 1981.

An application for the extension of term of a prospecting licence must be:

  • lodged at an office of the department during the final year of the term of the licence
  • submitted in Form 9
  • accompanied by the original instrument of licence, with the prescribed rent for a period of 12 months commencing on the day after the day on which the licence is due to expire.
  • accompanied by information in support of the proposed grounds for exemption.

Section 45(1c) keeps the licence in force until the extension application is determined.

Note the following:

Granted prospecting licences applied for prior to 10 February 2006 have a fixed term of four years and the term cannot be extended. Prospecting licences applied for and granted after 10 February 2006 have an initial period of four years and can then be extended by one period of four years and, if the licence has retention status, by a further period or periods of four years. The holder has to provide detailed information to support the application.

Prescribed grounds for extension

An extension of term can be granted where the Minister for Mines and Petroleum is satisfied a prescribed ground exists, and each of the following is a ground for extension under Regulation 16A for the purposes of section 45(1a):

  • prospecting, or the marking out and application for a mining lease or general purpose lease in relation to the land the subject of the licence, could not be undertaken because of difficulties or delays:
    • occasioned by law
    • arising from administrative, political, environmental or other requirements of governmental or other authorities, in the State or elsewhere; or
    • arising from a requirement to conduct an Aboriginal heritage survey on the land; or
    • obtaining requisite consents or approvals for prospecting or for the marking out of a mining lease or general purpose lease in relation to any part of the land; or
    • in gaining access to the land because of unfavourable climatic conditions,
  • the land the subject of the licence has for any reason the Minister considers sufficient been unworkable for the whole or a considerable part of any year of the term;
  • work already carried out under the licence justifies further prospecting; or
  • if the prospecting licence has retention status, the grounds for approval of retention status under section 54 of the Mining Act 1978 continue to exist.

A detailed explanation of the Department’s guidelines when assessing any of these reasons for extension is provided in the document Policy Guidelines – Extensions of Term for Prospecting Licences.

The attached Microsoft Word document entitled Information in Support of the Extension of Term of a Prospecting Licence should be completed and should accompany your application for extension of term.

Further notes

When the reasons given do not justify an extension of term, or the information provided is insufficient to determine the application, the holder will be notified that, after 30 days from the date of the notification the application for the extension of term will be submitted to the Minister with a recommendation for refusal.

If the holder transfers the licence after applying for an extension of term then the application continues in the name of the transferee.