Retention Licence (Offshore Minerals) - Western Australia

Service summary

You may require this licence if you hold an existing Exploration Licence and you intend to postpone the development of mineral resources located within the area covered by that licence.

Western Australia's offshore area extends three nautical miles out from the coastal baseline. If you intend to undertake activities beyond this area, you will need to apply for a Commonwealth licence.

A retention licence is a holding title for a mineral resource. You may intend to apply for a retention licence if you have identified a mineral resource, but are unable to mine or explore the resource until a later date. A retention licence will allow you more time in which to plan to develop the resource, and to obtain financing.

A retention licence does not authorise the recovery of minerals as part of a commercial mining operation. Your licence will specify the range of activities you are authorised to undertake.

You may apply for a retention licence for a group of blocks only if the group forms a discrete area, and there are no more than 20 blocks in the group.

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:

  • Hold an exploration licence in respect of the block or blocks you are applying for;
  • Provide details of reasons why you are applying for a retention licence rather than a mining licence;
  • Provide details of the mineral deposit you have identified, and whether it is commercially viable in the longer term;
  • Provide details of the work programme you have carried out under your exploration licence, and the activities you intend to carry out in the future;
  • Provide details of the amount of money you intend to spend;
  • Provide details of your technical qualifications;
  • Provide details of your financial resources;
  • Submit any required forms; and
  • Pay the required fees.

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



To be determined.



Further fees may apply. Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.




Application for Retention Licence - Please consult the Contact Officer for information on forms to be submitted.

Administering agency

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Minerals and Mining

Act(s) name

Offshore Minerals Act 2003 (Western Australia)

Regulation(s) name

Offshore Minerals Regulations 2010 (Western Australia)

Contact details

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Minerals and Mining

Mailing address:
Mineral House
100 Plain Street
East Perth,Western Australia,6004


08 9222 3626


08 9222 3444


Minerals and Mining Opens in a new browser window

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.