Exploration Licence - New South Wales


You may need this licence to conduct exploration activities for minerals. Exploration 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.

The licence provides you with the exclusive right to explore for minerals within a specified. 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.

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 18 or older
  • specify minerals to be explored for
  • provide evidence that the minerals specified are owned by you
  • specify land to be explored
  • specify the financial and technical advice available to you
  • specify estimated costs of prospecting in the specified area
  • negotiate access arrangements with landowners and occupiers to occupy land.

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  • approvals held by you that have been revoked or suspended within the past five years.

You are also to give notice of your application in a newspaper circulating generally in the State and at least one newspaper circulating in the locality of the proposed exploration area within 14 days of lodging your application for an exploration licence.

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


6 years


Anniversary of date of issue


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

Fees will change depending on your circumstances. Please contact the agency for more information.


Act(s) name

Mining Act 1992 New South Wales

Regulation(s) name

Mining Regulation 2016 New South Wales

Application process


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

Administering agency

Department of Regional NSW

Division of Resources and Geoscience

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.