Template for Land Access Arrangements for Mineral Exploration
The Land Access Arrangement for Mineral Exploration (the template) and supporting Land Access Arrangement Information have been published by the Director General of the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services under section 141(1A) of the Mining Act 1992.
The aim is to assist both landholders and mineral exploration companies operating in NSW to negotiate an access agreement. Please note this document is not intended to address access for the purposes of opal prospecting or petroleum (including coal seam gas) exploration.
Agriculture and mining are both vital industries in New South Wales (NSW) and share many common beliefs and interests. The successful co-existence of these industries has enormous benefits for the State, particularly in regional areas.
Although landholders may own the land, most mineral resources in NSW are owned by the State. This means that the royalties and economic benefits from the mining of these resources contribute to the provision of services for the people of NSW.
The purpose of land access arrangements is to ensure the orderly search for minerals, whilst recognising the rights of landholders to conduct their activities free from unreasonable interference or disturbance.
Both landholders and explorers have clear legal rights regarding access to land for mineral exploration. In particular, the Mining Act 1992 (the Act) provides specific landholder protections in respect of dwellings, gardens and significant improvements, as well as providing a statutory right to compensation for any ‘compensable loss’ suffered due to exploration carried out under an exploration licence or assessment lease.
The vast majority of relationships between explorers and landholders are positive. Courtesy, respect and honesty go far in building relationships between explorers and landholders. All access arrangements should be based on the understanding that explorers are ‘visitors’ on private land, and an appreciation by landholders of the needs and rights of mineral explorers.