Environmental regulation

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) ensures the responsible development of Western Australia's (WA) mineral, petroleum and geothermal resources. This includes regulating industry to ensure environmental compliance and implementation of best practice environmental management.

The department’s Resource and Environmental Compliance Division assesses mineral, petroleum and geothermal exploration and development applications within WA. The division also conducts environmental compliance audits and inspections to ensure approved activities comply with legislation, regulations, policies, and approval commitments and conditions. Unconditional Performance Bonds (UPB) may be imposed as mining securities for compliance with environmental conditions imposed under the Mining Act 1978.

The Resource and Environmental Compliance Division has an ISO 9001 certified quality management system and an Environmental Regulatory Strategy to ensure that resource industry activities are designed, operated, closed, decommissioned and rehabilitated in an ecologically sustainable manner, consistent with agreed environmental outcomes and end land uses without unacceptable liability to the State.

Environmental approvals

Environmental approvals for mining activities are granted in accordance with the Mining Act 1978 and include:

  • Programme of work – submitted when a company or prospector wants to disturb the ground with mechanised equipment to explore or prospect for minerals.
  • Mining proposals – submitted by a company for a proposed mining operation, or for a change to a mining operation. All mining proposals must include a mine closure plan.
  • Mine closure plans – reviewed and re-submitted by a company with a mining proposal and covering all aspects of mine decommissioning and rehabilitation.

Environmental approvals for petroleum and/or geothermal activities are granted in accordance with the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Environment) Regulations 2012, the Petroleum Pipelines (Environment) Regulations 2012, and/or the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012 and include:

  • Environment plans – submitted by a company for proposed petroleum and/or geothermal activities (including wells, facilities, pipelines and surveys).
  • Oil spill contingency plans – submitted by a company as part of an environment plan outlining the emergency response structure, strategy, and arrangements in the event of a spill incident.

In conjunction with the above approvals, a native vegetation clearing permit may be required. These may be granted by DMIRS under delegation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004.

Regulatory framework for hydraulic fracture stimulation

The department is responsible for regulating shale and tight gas activities, which includes hydraulic fracturing.

Regulatory framework for uranium

The department is responsible regulating the uranium mining industry in WA.


Contact staff at Resource and Environmental Regulation.


Mining Securities Policy – Administration for compliance with environmental conditions - December 2020 - 266 Kb

Policy for decisions on the requirement, lodgement, variation, enforcement and retirement of Unconditional Performance Bonds as mining securities for compliance with environmental conditions.

Consideration of Aboriginal heritage matters - 275 Kb

Aboriginal heritage matters in assessments.

WA Environmental Offsets Policy - 2011 - 60 Kb

The WA Government’s Environmental Offsets Policy seeks to protect and conserve environmental and biodiversity values for present and future generations. This policy ensures that economic and social development may occur while supporting long term values.

Administrative Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)

Administrative agreement between DMIRS and DBCA - 319 Kb

An agreement to provide effective communication and cooperation between the two departments.

Administrative Agreement between DMIRS and DWER - 507 Kb

Administrative Agreement between the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safetyand the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Operations protocol between DMIRS and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) - February 2015 - 2499 Kb

Operations protocol between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and JTSI (formerly Department of State Development).