The Land Access Arrangement Template for Mineral Exploration (the template) is published by the NSW Department of Industry under Section 141(1A) of the Mining Act 1992. It aims to assist both landholders and mineral exploration companies operating in NSW to negotiate an access agreement. This template is intended to cover mineral and coal exploration but  does not address access to land for the purposes of opal prospecting or petroleum (including coal seam gas) exploration. Note that use of the template is voluntary.

In October 2015, Parliament passed the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Land Access Arbitration) Bill 2015. Stakeholders requested further consultation on components of the reforms including the Land Access Arrangement Template for Mineral Exploration. As a result, the templates provided below are currently under review.


Agriculture and mining — a co-existence

Agriculture and mining are both vital industries in NSW and share many common beliefs and interests.

The successful coexistence of these industries has enormous benefits for the state, particularly in regional areas.

Although landholders may own the land, most mineral resources in NSW are owned by the state.

This means that the royalties and economic benefits from the mining of these resources contribute to the provision of services for the people of NSW.

The purpose of land access arrangements is to ensure the orderly search for minerals, while recognising the rights of landholders to conduct their activities free from unreasonable interference or disturbance.

Both landholders and explorers have clear legal rights regarding access to land for mineral exploration.

In particular, the Mining Act 1992 provides specific landholder protections in respect of dwellings, gardens and significant improvements, as well as providing a statutory right to compensation for any 'compensable loss' suffered due to exploration carried out under an exploration licence or assessment lease.

The vast majority of relationships between explorers and landholders are positive. Courtesy, respect and honesty go far in building relationships between explorers and landholders.

All access arrangements should be based on the understanding that explorers are 'visitors' on private land, and an appreciation by landholders of the needs and rights of mineral explorers.

For further information
Mineral Resources
1300 736 122 (toll free) or +61 (0)2 4931 6666
+61 (0)2 4931 6790
Mineral Resources, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Division of Resources and Mining, PO Box 344 Hunter Regional Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map