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Resource Rights Allocation Management terms

Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) are changing the way we give you information and making it easier for you to understand and read.

This includes writing about complex issues and technical terms, licensing information, legislation and regulations in simple ways that make more sense.

The terms and words defined below relate specifically to definitions found in the Earth Resources' Resource Rights Allocation and Management Business Portal (RRAM). 

All definitions provided are about licences under legislation that ERR administers.

What is RRAM?

The RRAM business portal is an online licensing application, communication and management tool for registered subscribers to apply for a licence, submit a work plan or report, track an application status and pay fees.

Why are RRAM terms important?

ERR's performance reporting refers to activities associated with licensing stages and managing incidents, hazards, compliance and enforcement activities.

Using this page

RRAM words and terms are explained here. You can search for a word on this page by using the find tool in your browser. Term definitions are also clustered into the following groups.

  1. Definitions
  2. Common terms
  3. Licensing
  4. Licensing stages and status
  5. Working groups
  6. Incidents
  7. Compliance and enforcement
  8. Hazards

Definitions

This glossary contains terms of reference and words that have variable naming conventions but have the same meaning.

RRAM has specific reporting terms and words that have been included here.

Duty holder

A duty holder is also known as a licence holder, authority holder, title holder or licensee.

Licence

Licences are also known as tenements, titles, leases, permits, consents, authorisations and authorities.

Licensing officer

A licensing officer is also known as a tenements officer.

A compliance officer

A compliance officer is also known as an inspector.

An ERR inspector is an Authorised Officer.

Incident

Incidents are also known as events.

Tenement

A tenement is a generic word commonly used in the Victorian resource sector used to describe resource licences, leases, authorisations, authorities and permits.

The word title is also used to describe a tenement and definitions vary from state to state.

Under the MRSDA, a mining tenement refers to a claim, lease, mining, exploration, retention or prospecting licence.

Section 110 Notice (Remedial Notice)

A Section 110 Notice is also known as a remedial notice (Notice). It is served under Section 110 MRSDA.

Learn more about the licences we administer under legislation.

Third party references

Throughout RRAM we refer to the word, third party, it is defined as anyone excluding the duty holder and ERR.

Key acronyms

  • Earth Resources Regulation (ERR)
  • Resource Rights Allocation and Management Business Portal (RRAM)
  • Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MRSDA).

Common terms

Active licence

This term relates to the duty holder and refers to a licence that has been granted in the last annual reporting period, that has not been surrendered, cancelled or withdrawn or a licence with a total reported expense for the reporting period of over $1,000 that has not been surrendered, cancelled or withdrawn.

A total reported expense refers to all expenditure reported by a duty holder in their annual reports (specifically the profit and loss statement).

Community

Community is a broad term used to define groups of people who are stakeholders; often comprised of interest, action groups or individuals who share similar interests or live in the same location.

A community group is usually formed through a geographic location – based on a community of place, or similar interests or a through affiliation or identity.

Duty holder

A duty holder is also known as a licence holder, authority holder, title holder or licensee.

The holder has the exclusive right to explore and mine for certain resources and must ensure operational and environmental conditions are met.

Licences are also known as tenements, titles, leases, permits, consents, authorisations and authorities.

Extractives industry

Under the MRSDA, the extractives industry is defined as an industry which extracts or removes stone from land if the primary purpose is to sell or use the stone commercially for construction, building, road or manufacturing work.
The definition includes:

  • treating stone or manufacturing bricks, tiles, pottery or cement products adjoining the land where the stone is extracted from; and
  • any place or activity involving extracting or removing stone from land declared by the Minister, by public notice in the Government Gazette, to be an extractive industry for purposes of the MRSDA.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a formal agreement between two or more parties. The agreement allows government departments and agencies to clarify roles in their working relationships.

Mining industry

An industry which extracts minerals from land for the purpose of producing them commercially, and includes processing and treating ore.

Tenement Committee

The Tenement Committee consists of all licensing officers, the Director, Statutory Authorisations and Manager, Approvals of ERR.

The committee's primary tasks are reviewing licence applications and variations to existing licences.

Licensing

Amalgamation

An amalgamation refers to when a duty holder amalgamates two or more licences under the same Act.

Cancellation of licences

This term refers to when a licence is cancelled for non-compliance and applies to all licences that ERR administers.

Cancellation of a licence due to amalgamation

When two or more licences are amalgamated the original licences are cancelled and deactivated in RRAM, once the new amalgamated licence is created.

Creation of interest

This is a term used when referring to any formal agreements made under the MRSDA, between a duty holder and third party.

Change of Company Name adjustment to licence

If a duty holder wants to update their company name details in RRAM this is known as a Change of Company Name adjustment.

This relates to all duty (licence) holders that need their licences assessed by ERR.

Change of company name adjustment

This is a request from a duty holder to change the listed company name on their licence in RRAM. This term applies to all duty holders under legislation administered by ERR.

Devolution of interest

This term refers to the situation when a licence is transferred to another owner because the original duty holder has died. This term applies to all licensing under ERR legislation.

Exemption

Under the MRSDA,the Minister for Resources may exempt a duty holder from requiring a licence to conduct activities on certain parcels of land. This is known as a licence exemption.

Full surrender of licences

Under the MRSDA, this term refers to a formal application process by a duty holder to surrender (relinquish) their current licence.

Licensing agreements

Refer to any formal agreements (contracts) under the Petroleum Act 1998 between a duty holder and a third party.

Agreements under the MRSDA are called a Creation of Interest and refer to any formal agreement between a duty holder and third party.

Licence area change

This term refers to a licence variation request by an extractives duty holder to change the area of their work authority under the MRSDA.

Licence conditions change

A licence condition change in RRAM is a variation request by the duty holder to make changes to conditions of a licence under MRSDA.

Mineral agreements

Agreements under the MRSDAare called a Creation of Interest and refer to any formal agreement between a duty holder and third party.

Petroleum agreements

References to the word agreements in RRAM refer to contractual petroleum agreements under the Petroleum Act 1998between the duty holder and third party to be registered.

Partial cancellations of licences

This term relates to licences under the MRSDA. It refers to actions that may be taken by ERR to cancel part of a licence area due to non-compliance or when there is a variation to a licence requested by the duty holder.

Partial surrender of licences

Under the MRSDA, this term refers to when a duty holder requests to surrender part of a licence area.

Refusal of renew

This term is used when a duty holder applies to renew a licence under legislation by ERR and is refused.

Renewal of licences

When a duty holder applies to renew an existing licence under legislation with ERR.

Suspension or cancellation of permits and licences

This term refers to when a duty holder under the Petroleum Act 1998, requests to change the conditions of their licence.

Termination of interest

A termination of interest is when a Creation of Interest (formal agreement between a duty holder and third party) is removed from a licence under the MRSDA.

Transfer of licence

When a duty holder submits a request to transfer their licence under ERR legislation to another person or company.

Work plan variation

Under the MRSDA, a work plan specifies information about establishing, operating and rehabilitating a quarry or mine.

If the original scope of work changes after the plan has been approved by ERR, then the work plan needs to be variedto include these changes; this is known as a work plan variation.

Licensing stages and status

Accepted

Refers to the stage in RRAM where a licence application or variation of an existing licence has been submitted for approval, and is assigned to an ERR licensing officer to assess.

Application

Refers to any licence application under any of the Acts and regulations we administer.

See licensing glossary

Duty (Licence) holder – further information

This refers to a licence application or licence variation that is referred back to the applicant or duty holder.

Licences or variations are referred back when information is missing or requires further clarity and is considered incomplete.

Licensing officer

A licensing officer is also known as a tenements officer, compliance officer or inspector.

A licensing officer assesses processes and manages tenement applications, transfers and renewals and provides advice about licensing conditions, bond returns and surrenders for ERR in Victoria.

Native title

A form of land title which recognises the ties some Aboriginal groups have to land and waters which come from their traditional laws and customs.

Native title rights do not apply to minerals, gas or petroleum under Australian law. In tidal or sea areas only non-exclusive native title can be recognised.

If a licensing application relates to Crown land, it is assessed to determine if an agreement is needed with the traditional owners before a licence can be granted.

Ready for Tenements Committee

The Tenements Committee provides a peer review of all licence applications and variations to existing licences prior to final approval.

This term refers to the stage when an applicant's licence is ready for review by the Tenements Committee.

See Tenements Committee

Submitted

Refers to the process when a licensing applicant or a duty holder has submitted an application or variation for an existing licence for ERR to assess.

Tenement administration

This term refers to the stage in RRAM where a licensing application or variation of an existing licence is under review by a licensing officer.

Variation

Variation to any approved licence application under any of the Acts and regulations we administer.

Working groups

Earth Resources Regulators Forum (ERRF)

The forum was established to provide advice, networking and learning opportunities for forum members to deliver earth resources regulation that meets the needs of the Victorian community, protects the environment and provides certainty for industry.

Environmental Review Committee (ERC)

An ERC is a group of stakeholders who review environmental performance relating to a mine or quarry.

ERC's commonly include site representatives from local council, relevant government and non-government organisations and the local community.

Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG)

The SRG provides a forum for stakeholder engagement and consultation with about statutory, regulatory, policy, issues and activities that affect the community, industry and the environment.

The group was formed to improve industry investment certainty and create community confidence in Victoria's mining and resources sector.

Incidents

Incident (event)

Incidents are also referred to as events.

The word incident refers to a single incident taking place on a licenced site or surrounding area injuring a person or causing damage to the environment.

It also includes the risk or likely risk to the community or environment and any Reportable Events under ERR legislation.

Environmental incident (event)

An environmental incident is a reportable event that takes place under a mining licence or extractive industry work authority with the potential to result in significant environmental impacts.

Legislation breach incident (event)

A legislation breach incident is a reportable event that takes place under a mining licence or extractive industry work authority which results in or has potential to result in a legislative breach (break the law).

Major incident classification

This term describes the classification by ERR of an incident that has resulted in:

  • an on or off site death or injury to a member the public
  • serious off site impacts on the environment
  • a serious breach of legislation.

Minor incident classification

This classification type is used by ERR to grade an incident that has taken place under licence. 

This term refers to classifying a site incident as minor.

Examples of minor non-compliance incidents are:

  • with a licensing condition
  • work plan
  • other incidents that are not classified as major or significant.

New incident

This term describes a new incident that has not yet been reviewed or resolved by ERR.

Non-reportable incident (event)

This term describes a reportable incident that is assessed by ERR and then determined and classified as non-reportable.

Open incident

This term describes a site incident that is currently under review by ERR.

Public infrastructure incident (event)

A public infrastructure incident is a reportable event that takes place under a mining licence or extractive industry work authority with the potential to result in significant impacts to public infrastructure.

Public safety incident (event)

A public safety incident is a reportable event that takes place under a mining licence or extractive industry work authority which results in, or has potential to result in, significant impacts to public safety.

It does not include employee safety as defined in Occupational Health and Safety as defined under legislation.

Reportable incident (event)

Reportable incidents relate to mineral and extractive operations.

Mining licence or extractive industry work authority holders are required to report any events which result in, have potential to result in or significantly impact people, the environment or infrastructure.

Significant incident classification

This term describes the classification by ERR of an incident that has resulted in either :

  • potential (near miss) death or injury to a member of the public
  • minor off site impacts on the environment
  • any actual or potential on site impacts on the environment
  • low level breach of legislation
  • significant non-compliance with condition or workplan.

Resolved incident

This term describes an incident that has been reviewed and resolved by ERR.

Compliance and enforcement

Complaint

A complaint is an allegation that a duty holder has not complied with legislation, conditions, work plans or other relevant requirements.

General enforcement action

This term refers to the actions an ERR inspector may take against a duty holder if they are non-compliant under their licensing conditions.

Actions could include:

  • issuing an official warning letter, improvement notice, Section 110 Notice or formal written or verbal direction
  • injunctions or prosecutions
  • suspending or cancelling licences.

Infringement notice (Financial penalty)

If an inspector suspects a licence holder has committed an breach under the MRSDA he may issue an infringement notice which is a financial penalty.

The Notice is served when there has been a breach of the Act, or where activities present a significant risk and consultation is unlikely to be effective.

Section 110 Notice (Remedial Notice)

A Section 110 Notice is also known as a Remedial Notice (Notice). It is served under Section 110 of the MRSDA.

The Notice is a written legal direction asking a duty holder to stop particular activities or start remedial work.

It is an offence under the MRSDA not to comply with a Notice.

Failure to comply can include financial penalties, injunctions and prosecutions against the duty holder (an individual or company).

Suspension or cancellation of permits and licences

This term refers to when a duty holder under the Petroleum Act 1998, requests to change the conditions of their licence.

Hazards

Environmental hazard

An environmental hazard is defined as potential damage to both natural and built environments.

This includes a range of impacts on air quality, groundwater, water ways including rivers, lakes and farm dams, noise, native flora and fauna, cultural heritage sites, visual amenity, batter collapse, land instability, cultural and heritage sensitivity sites. 

Mineral

The MRSDA defines mineral as any substance which occurs naturally as part of the earth's crust including:

  • oil shale and coal
  • hydrocarbons and mineral oils contained in oil shale or coal or extracted from oil shale or coal by chemical or industrial processes
  • bentonite, fine clay, kaolin, lignite, minerals in alluvial form (including titanium, zirconium, rare earth elements and platinoid group elements), quartz crystals and zeolite excluding water, stone, peat or petroleum.