Get permission to access land
If you plan to prospect on mining tenement, you must contact the tenement holder and obtain written permission.
It can be beneficial to include, as part of the request, some kind of formal written agreement that you and the tenement holder can both sign. Many mining companies are satisfied with this approach. Often the only condition a tenement holder requires is for the prospector to report the location of any gold finds. This information provides the tenement holder with spot indications of gold.
Good communication with the holder will improve and confirm relations between prospectors and tenement owners.
A Section 40E Permit can also be applied for over a granted exploration licence.
When prospecting on a pastoral lease, you must take all reasonable and practical steps to notify the pastoralist about where you plan to operate and for how long.
You can obtain the address, telephone and fax numbers and email address of pastoralists by contacting any of the Department of Mines and Petroleum's (DMP) Mining Registrar offices. This is the only authoritative source for this information and is only released under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between DMP and the Department of Lands.
Prospectors should communicate with pastoralists. The rights of the pastoralist are very important as they are legal occupiers of the land. Prospectors should abide by instructions about water supply for stock, firearms and dogs. Campsites should be kept clean, wear and tear on roads and tracks minimised, and fences and gates not damaged.
You may be liable for compensation for any damage caused to a pastoralist’s infrastructure, such as fences or roads.
A Permit to Enter is required to search for minerals on private property such as farmland. You can apply for the Permit using either Mineral Titles Online or Form 2 of the Mining Act 1978. Contact with the landowner should be made before entry.
Find out more about Private land provisions.
For a fee, private landowners addresses can be obtained from Landgate.
Operating without permission
Operating without proper permissions is illegal and an offence under the Mining Act 1978 – carrying heavy fines. Refer to Penalties for illegal prospecting. Only mining tenement holders have the right to remove and keep minerals.
Any gold or other minerals and gemstones found during unauthorised prospecting will be confiscated as it is considered stolen from the Crown, carrying penalties of up to $20,000. A liability also exists to rehabilitate any land damage and pay compensation for any loss or damage caused.