Content in this section is pending review following the staged repeal of legislation process. References to clauses in regulations may not be up to date.

DRE is progressively updating all policies, forms, templates and guidelines to reflect the new clause numbers in the remade Mining Regulation, Petroleum Onshore Regulation and Petroleum Offshore Regulation. For a comprehensive list of the changes go to the Staged repeal of legislation External link web page.

  • Mining overview

    Opal mining takes place within a Mineral Claim using multiple methods of extraction. Learn more about the methods here.

    Go to Mining overview

  • Code of Conduct

    The Code of Conduct has been drawn up specifically in the interests  of the miners and the Western Lands Lessees involved in and affected by the opal mining industry at Lightning Ridge and surrounding district.

    Go to Code of Conduct

  • Opal prospecting

    Mineral exploration for opals is termed prospecting, conducted under an Opal Prospecting Licence or Mineral Claim.

    Go to Opal prospecting

  • Mineral Claims

    Mineral claims within the Lightning Ridge Mineral Claims District are processed by the department's Lightning Ridge Office.

    Go to Mineral Claims

  • Lightning Ridge fees & charges

    In accordance with Schedule 10 of the Mining Regulation 2016, lodgement fees are payable.

    Go to Lightning Ridge fees & charges

  • Lightning Ridge Voluntary Surrender Scheme

    Read about the Scheme which gave leaseholders within Opal Prospecting Areas 1, 2 and 3 an opportunity to express interest in surrendering lots heavily affected by opal mining.

    Go to Lightning Ridge Voluntary Surrender Scheme

  • Mining courses

    Before being able to hold a mineral claim, the Safety Awareness Course must be completed.

    Go to Mining courses

  • About Lightning Ridge

    Lightning Ridge is one of the few places in the world where the precious and highly prized black opal is found. Learn more about the town in north-western New South Wales.

    Go to About Lightning Ridge

  • About opal

    Precious opal is unique among gemstones. Each stone has its own individual pattern and range of colours, and its colours and patterns can change with the angle of view.

    Go to About opal

  • Maps, reports & records

    Records are available from the Lightning Ridge Office, for inspection, free of charge, by members of the public during office hours.

    Go to Maps, reports & records