Mineral exploration work on a licence

The Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration provides practical guidance about how exploration work should be conducted in Victoria to meet regulatory requirements and environmental standards under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MRSDA).

Low Impact Exploration

The Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration includes guidance for licensees on how to determine if their proposed exploration works meet the definition of Low Impact Exploration.

Licensees must operate in accordance with the standards set out in the Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration, if they wish to undertake exploration work that complies with all the elements of the definition of Low Impact Exploration.

Licensees are responsible for ensuring that they meet all the criteria for Low Impact Exploration and that the supporting documentation, including evidence of consultation with the relevant agencies, is submitted to the Chief Inspector.

An approved work plan is not required for Low Impact Exploration. Licensees are required to obtain an approved work plan, if they conclude that their proposed exploration work program does not meet the definition of Low Impact Exploration. Licensees can contact Earth Resources Regulation in this case  workplan.approvals@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Notice of intention to commence work

All licensees are reminded that they must comply with section 42 for mining and prospecting licence holders or section 43 for exploration and retention licence holders of the MRSDA. This includes the following:

  • Provide seven days’ notice of intention to commence work to the Chief Inspector using the Notice of intention to commence exploration work form (below) to errchiefinspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au. This must include:
    • a description of the proposed exploration works,
    • a site map of the proposed works,
    • the location of the drilling/exploration activities, and
    • the attached form which includes the Low Impact Exploration Checklist, including the details of the licensee’s assessment of the exploration works proposed against each criteria with any associated supporting documents.
  • Lodge a rehabilitation bond with Earth Resources Regulation. Please contact us at rlab@ecodev.vic.gov.au if you require any advice on lodging a rehabilitation bond.
  • If work is on private land, obtain the consent of the owners and occupiers of the land, or register a compensation agreement, and given seven days’ notice of intention to commence work to the owners and occupiers of the land.
  • Obtain any consents and/or given notice required under section 44 or section 45 of the MRSDA (e.g. work on restricted Crown land, within a public road reserve, within a declared water catchment, or within 100m of a dwelling or house).
  • Obtain all other necessary consents from other authorities required under the MRSDA or any other Act.
  • Hold the insurance required under section 39(5) of the MRSDA.

Licensees can direct any inquiries about low impact exploration to Earth Resources Regulation’s relevant Regional Manager or to errchiefinspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 09 Nov 2021