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Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic)

The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MR(SD)A) provides a contemporary legislative framework for the development and regulation of:
  • the mineral exploration and mining industry, including gold, coal, and mineral sands; and
  • extractive industries (quarries) for the extraction of stone resources including gravel, sand, soil, building stone and clay (but does not include fine clay, kaolin or salt). This is in combination with land use controls under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

As of 1 January 2010, Victoria’s extractive industries are regulated under the MR(SD)A.

The MR(SD)A addresses licensing and approvals, and other issues including compensation, rehabilitation and royalties for extractive industries, mineral exploration and development activities.

The Act seeks to encourage an economically viable mining industry which makes the best use of mineral resources in a way that is compatible with the economic, social and environmental objectives of the State.. A series of Regulations and guidelines also apply to mineral exploration and development activities

Additionally, the MR(SD)A applies to the extraction or removal of stone from land if the main purpose is for the sale or commercial use of the stone or for use in construction, building, road or manufacturing works.

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, miinerals in alluvial form (including titanium, zirconium, rare earth elements and platinoid group elements), quartz crystals and zeolite; and
  • excludes water, stone, peat or petroleum.

Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990

Mineral Resources Development Regulations 2002

Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development)(Extractive Industries) Regulations 2010

Other Relevant Legislation

Mineral, extractive and petroleum exploration and development activities are also subject to a range of other Commonwealth and State legislation. Relevant Commonwealth legislation includes the Native Title Act 1993, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and Part IIA of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984.

Relevant Victorian legislation includes the Environment Effects Act 1978, the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Note: Commonwealth legislation relating to beyond the 3 nautical mile limit no longer falls under the Victorian jurisdiction. This is now administered by Commonwealth authorities - National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.

Links to Legislation

Victorian Legislation

Go to "Legislation & Bills" then select “Victorian Law Today” and search for desired Act or Regulations alphabetically.

Search for desired Act under ‘Act name search’.