Fossicking Act 1994 - Queensland

Service summary

To administer tourist and recreational fossicking activities in Queensland.

The Act separates administration of fossicking activities from those of commercial mining. It provides for the establishment of specific declared areas (Designated Fossicking Lands and Fossicking Areas)

It also provides for the issuing of licences for fossicking statewide and of camping permits on regulated camping land. The Act further sets out the enforcement powers of authorised officers together with penalties for non compliance with the Act and the appeal mechanisms against decisions or penalties.

The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined:

  • Fossicking Regulation 2009.

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

An obligation defined in law. A business must comply with relevant services.

Definition of terms

Commercial tour

a tour, involving fossicking, conducted as part of a business activity.


search for fossicking materials in a systematic or unsystematic way on the ground''s surface or by digging with a hand tool; or collect fossicking materials. However, a person does not "fossick" merely because the person picks up a specimen of fossicking material the person finds by chance when doing something other than fossicking.

Fossicking material

a gemstone; an ornamental stone; a mineral specimen; alluvial gold; a fossil (other than a fossil of a vertebrate animal); a substance prescribed by regulation to be fossicking material; but does not include a meteorite, tektite, or impact or ejected material associated with a meteorite impact structure.

Hand tool

a pick, shovel, hammer, sieve, shaker, electronic detector or any tool declared by regulation to be a hand tool.

Other resources


Appeal process


Compliance Mechanisms and Penalties:

Commercial tour operators are required to comply with the conditions attached to their licence to conduct fossicking or to their camping permit.

On the spot fine notices or prosecutions in a Magistrates Court may be used to enforce the provisions of the Act. Breaches may also result in cancellation or suspension of a licence or permit.

Review or Appeal Mechanisms:

An appeal against refusal, suspension or cancellation of a licence or permit can be made to the Land Court.

An appeal against a decision may be made to the Land Court.

Administering agency

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Service Delivery
Mining and Petroleum Operations

Contact details

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Service Delivery
Mining and Petroleum Operations


13 QGOV (13 74 68)


Department of Natural Resources and Mines contact list Opens in a new browser window

Supporting information


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