Mining law is a very broad topic, but basically, Mining and Mineral exploration law is dealt with under the New South Wales System of Regulation under the Mining Act 1992 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 and accompanying Regulations. These acts of parliament are essential in order to understand the way that the the regulation of mining operates in New South Wales. Many people are unaware that despite owning land, you do not necessarily own the mineral titles which are found on the land and that these can be resumed by the government if there is no license. For this reason a mining licence is necessary to establish the correct title to a mine if the minerals are under the jurisdiction of New South Wales Law. Administratively, this area is handled by the department of primary industries in New South Wales.
The Department fulfils a number of functions in the administration of mining title in New South Wales. It creates records of exploration licenses, assesses leases and processes mining lease applications. The headquarters of the Department of primary industries in New South Wales is Maitland. The department keeps a register of mineral titles and prospecting licenses. The Department also maintains the computerised Title Administration System (TAS). The overall function of the system of mining title is to provide the control mechanism for government by allowing the government to dictate the operating and environmental conditions of mineral titles in the state. The present system of title also gives the owners of the title the exclusive right to explore the land for which a license is granted and mine the minerals which are on the land as long as the conditions of the license are correctly adhered to in the operations of the exploration or the mine. Naturally, when a business is investing in a major infrastructure project there is a need for certainty as to the commercial rights which the business operators can expect as a result of their investment and the system of licensing provides this.
The relevant legislation which governs the operation of most of the aspects of mineral resource extraction in New South Wales are the Mining Act 1992, The Petreoleum (Onshore Act) 1991, the Offshore Minerals Act 1999 (for title up to three miles offshore) and the Petroleum (Offshore) Act 1982 and beyond this three mile limit, offshore drilling and exploration is regulated by the Commonwealth Government in conjunction with the State body. If you have a question about mining law, or the rights of mineral tenants on leases, or the rights of the land holders of the lands in which mining leases have been granted, we can assist you with any aspect of these inquiries. Please do not hesitate to contact us using any of the methods available on this website.