Can applications for an exploration, retention, prospecting or mining licence be made on my land?
Yes. All land in Victoria is open to exploration, retention, prospecting and mining licence applications except national and state parks and wilderness areas.
How do I know if an application for a licence has been made on my land?
At a minimum, the company must notify the public by placing an official notice in local and state newspapers. Prospecting licence applications are only required to be advertised in the local paper.
Other notices may include providing information at community events, via letter box drops or online.
Can I object to a mining or exploration or retention licence?
Yes. As a landholder you can object before the application is approved.
Your objection must be written, include the grounds relevant to the legislation and be sent within 21 days.
All objections and comments are considered before a decision is made whether to grant the licence.
Objections may cause additional conditions to be imposed on the licence holder. These may relate to technical requirements or issues the community is concerned about.
Register your objection or comment about a licence application.
Does an applicant need my consent to undertake work on my land?
Yes. A mining licence will only be approved if you have given written consent and negotiated a compensation agreement. No work can start on your land without your permission.
If the applicant asks you to sign a contract giving them access to your property we recommend you seek legal advice before you enter into any binding agreement.
Can I refuse consent?
Yes. However, if you do not provide consent, the mining company can seek compensation from you.
Where an agreement for consent or compensation cannot be reached the Victorian Mining Warden might be asked to mediate the dispute. Alternatively, it can be taken to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or referred to the Victorian Supreme Court.
Can I influence how the work is undertaken on my land?
Yes. The applicant will need to prepare a document called a work plan and consult with you and other members of the community during this process.
You can raise matters including how you will continue to manage your land or how the activities may affect your quality of life. The work plan may include these concerns and limit or prevent certain activities.
All objections and comments are considered before a decision is made whether to approve the work plan and grant the licence.
What are the community engagement and consultation requirements of the licensee?
The licensee must produce a community engagement (CE) plan that clearly identifies the community (including the landholder) and describes how, when and what engagement will take place with the landholder during all stages of the project.
Note: Exploration licensees are not required to develop a CE plan although, like mining licensees, they have a duty to consult from exploration and operational phases through to rehabilitation.
The licensee must tell the landholder about activities authorised under the licence that may affect them and ensure they are provided with reasonable opportunities to express their views.
What varieties of consultation are used?
Consultation may include:
- face-to-face meetings
- notice boards
- information flyers
- written electronic surveys
- hotline or phone-in opportunities
- media advertising
- invitations for submissions at public exhibitions or online.