Exploration Permit - Minerals - Queensland

Service summary

This permit is required to explore or investigate an area of land for the discovery of minerals (excluding coal).

Please note the permit does not permit you to mine for and produce minerals, you are only permitted to explore.

Service type


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

Definition of terms


To take action to determine the existence, quality and quantity of minerals, on in or under land or in the waters or sea above land by:

  • prospecting
  • using instruments, equipment and techniques appropriate to determine the existence of any mineral
  • extracting and removing from land for sampling and testing an amount of material, mineral or other substance in each case reasonably necessary to determine its mineral bearing capacity or its properties as an indication of mineralisation
  • doing anything else prescribed under a regulation.

Eligibility requirements

You must be either:

  • a natural person at least 18 years of age, or
  • a registered company (including a registered foreign company)


This permit can be transferred after grant.

You must be either:

  • a natural person at least 18 years of age, or
  • a registered Company (includes a registered foreign company)

Ministerial consent of a prior approval of assignment is required.

You can transfer this permit by submitting a completed "assignment of Exploration Permit or Mineral Development Licence", to the Minister for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Stamp duty must be paid on the transfer, therefore the transfer must be processed and stamped by the Office of State Revenue before it is submitted to the Minister.

A statement as to monetary consideration must be submitted with the application.

An application to transfer the Environmental Authority must be submitted.

Rquired after applying but before transfer is granted:

  • possible replacement of financial assurance
  • exploration permit document
  • further information will be requested.


The maximum period is for 5 years and the permit may be renewed.


You will need to pay an application fee.  You can obtain information on all current applicable fees from the agency or from the Mineral Resources Regulation 2003 Schedule 6.


You can obtain this permit by completing the "Application for Exploration Permit" and submitting it by:

  • Delivering or mailing the application to any mines office in Queensland; or
  • Loading online through the MyMinesOnline System.

The latest version of the application form can be downloaded from the website or by contacting your regional or Brisbane district office of the Department.

The following documents must be submitted with the applicaton:

  • proposed work program of exploration and advice on how the program will be carried out
  • a statement specifying the estimated human, technical and financial resources proposed to be committed to during each year of the permit
  • statement of financial position and available technical resources
  • numbers and qualifications of professional and other staff responsible for planning, conducting and reporting for each year of the program.

Permit holders are required to have an environmental authority unless the area they are applying for is 4 su-blocks or less. Applicants must complete an EA form and attach supporting documentation.  This form and supporting documentation must be submitted with your permit application.

Further information about applying for an exploration permit may be obtained by reading the mineral and coal exploration guidelines which can be downloaded at the department's website .

Any person interested in obtaining mining tenure is advised to contact the relevant mining registrar or department staff for further information before lodging any application.

You must lodge a financial assurance and accept terms and conditions. Compliance with the native title process is also required.

Additional information

The Exploration Permit can be surrendered at any time.

This Permit may be renewed by submitting a completed "Application for Renewal Exploration Permit"(Form Number 3) to the Department. The application for renewal must be submitted between 3 months and 28 days prior to the expiration of its current term, with proposed work program and expenditure.

Section(s) of Act

Chapter 4 Exploration Permits

Regulation Section(s)

Part 5 Exploration Permits, Schedule 4A Schedule 5 and Schedule 6

Administering agency

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Service Delivery
Exploration Management Unit

Act(s) name

Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Queensland)

Regulation(s) name

Mineral Resources Regulation 2013 (Queensland)

Contact details

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Service Delivery
Exploration Management Unit


13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.