Exploration Licence - New South Wales

Service summary

You may require this licence if you intend to conduct exploration activities for minerals. This includes determining the quality and quantity of any minerals you may locate and the viability of extracting them for commercial purposes.

Exploration includes, but is not limited to geological and geophysical:

  • surveying
  • mapping
  • sampling
  • drilling
  • trenching.

This licence provides you with the exclusive right to explore for minerals within the area you have specified on your application. Please be aware that exploration licences may be granted in the same area to other people if they intend to search for minerals not specified on your licence.

If you intend to explore your own land for minerals that are not owned or reserved for the Crown, you can apply for a category of this licence known as an exploration (mineral owner) licence.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • specify minerals to be explored for
  • specify land to be explored
  • negotiate access arrangements with landowners and occupiers to occupy land
  • submit the required forms and pay any applicable fees.

You must also provide an environmental performance record, this must contain information such as details of any:

  • convictions relating to the environment within the past five years
  • approvals held by you that have been revoked or suspended within the past five years.

Please be aware that additional requirements may apply if your application concerns land subject to Native Title legislation.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information regarding eligibility requirements.


Six years.


Anniversary of date of issue.



Fees will vary depending on your circumstances. Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.



Your application needs to be accompanied by a proposed work program.

Administering agency

Department of Planning and Environment
Division of Resources and Energy
Mineral Resources

Act(s) name

Mining Act 1992 (New South Wales)

Regulation(s) name

Mining Regulation 2016 (New South Wales)

Contact details

Title Services
Department of Planning and Environment
Division of Resources and Energy
Mineral Resources

Operating address:
516 High Street
Maitland, New South Wales 2320
Mailing address:
PO Box 344
Hunter Regional Mail Centre
NSW 2310


02 4931 6500


02 4931 6776

Supporting information


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