Mining and exploration
Can I clear native vegetation for mineral exploration and operations?
You can clear for:
- mineral exploration
- mining operations (note there are different conditions for mines that were approved before 2003)
- private mines.
What can I clear?
You can clear vegetation for, or incidental to:
operations authorised under a Mining Act or the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000
exploration authorised under a Mining Act or the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, provided exploration activities are undertaken in accordance with Native Vegetation Council (NVC)-approved industry standards
mining operations authorised before to 25 August 2003 under the Mining Act 1971 that would have been reasonably expected under a previous authorisation taking into account the circumstances that existed immediately before 25 August 2003. Clearance that is in excess or new to that authorised prior to this date is not permitted
operations at private mine sites where mining operations have not ceased for more than a 12 month period at any time since 21 November 1984.
Does this include land under Heritage or Management Agreement?
You cannot clear vegetation for mining operations authorised before 25 August 2003 on Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement land.
You can clear for other operations, exploration and at private mine sites on Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement land.
Do I need approval?
Yes you need to get approval from the Department of Energy and Mining.
What is the process?
The NVC is provided with the following plans for comment as part of the mining authorisation process:
under a Mining Act: a management plan that incorporates details of the proposed clearance and a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) management plan.
under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000: a Statement of Environmental Objectives which incorporates details on the proposed clearance and a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) management plan.
The NVC will assess the proposed clearance and SEB in accordance with the Guide for the Mining and Petroleum Industry and the Mitigation Hierarchy. Note that an SEB may not be required for exploration if clearance is in accordance with NVC-approved industry standards for exploration.
The Department of Energy and Mining is responsible for approvals in accordance with the Guide for the Mining and Petroleum Industry.