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 on how to determine if your proposed exploration works meet the definition of Low Impact Exploration.

If you wish to undertake exploration work which complies with all the elements of the definition of Low Impact Exploration, you must operate in accordance with the standards set out in the Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration. An approved work plan is not required for Low Impact Exploration.

Note: The licensee is responsible for ensuring that it has met all the criteria for Low Impact Exploration and that the appropriate documentation to demonstrate this have been submitted. In many cases, this will require evidence of consultation with the relevant authorities or agencies.

If you determine that your proposed exploration work program does not meet the definition of Low Impact Exploration, you are required to obtain an approved work plan. If this is case, please contact us via workplan.approvals@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Notice of intention to commence work

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, but is not limited to the following:

  • Seven (7) days’ notice of intention to commence work is provided to the Chief Inspector using the form below. If you are proposing works under the definition of Low Impact Exploration, 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 your assessment of the exploration works proposed against each criteria with any associated supporting documents. This notification must be provided to the Chief Inspector by the licensee.
  • Rehabilitation bond has been lodged with Earth Resources Regulation. If you require any advice on lodging a rehabilitation bond, please contact us at rlab@ecodev.vic.gov.au
  • If work is on private land, the licensee has obtained the consent of the owners and occupiers of the land affected, or registered a compensation agreement, and given seven (7) days’ notice of intention to commence work to the owners and occupiers of the land.
  • Obtained any particular 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 house).
  • All other necessary consents and other authorities required by or under the MRSDA or any other Act have been obtained.
  • Hold the appropriate insurance required under section 39(5) of the MRSDA.

If you have any questions, you should direct your enquiry to the relevant Regional Manager or to errchiefinspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Use checkboxes below to add relevant supporting documentation.

Requirements for Low Impact Exploration for Mineral Exploration

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Errors:

Suggested excel format:

ID EASTING (MGA) NORTHING (MGA) Depth (m) Location

LOW IMPACT EXPLORATION CHECKLIST

From Schedule 4A MRSDA - "low impact exploration" means exploration that does not involve any of the following-

Activity Yes/No Assessment Details ( How did you arrive at your answer?)
The use of explosives?
The taking of flora that is a member of a taxon of flora that is specified in the Threatened List under section 10(1) of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, unless that flora is taken from private land that is not owned by a public authority?
The taking of flora that is a part or a member of a community of flora that is specified in the Threatened List under section 10(1) of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, unless that community is found on private land that is not owned by a public authority?
The taking of fauna that is a member of a taxon of fauna, or that is a part or member of a community of fauna, that is specified in the Threatened List under section 10(1) of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988?
The taking of any taxon or community of flora or fauna from any habitat or parts of habitat under section 20 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988?
The removal or damaging of more than one (1) hectare of native vegetation if that area does not contain any native trees during either the term of the licence or a period of five (5) years from the grant of the licence, whichever ends first?
The removal or damaging of more than 15 native trees that have a trunk diameter of less than 40 cm at a height of 1.3 metres above ground level during either the term of the licence or a period of five (5) years from the grant of the licence, whichever ends first?
The removal or damaging of more than five (5) native trees that have a trunk diameter of 40 cm or more at a height of 1.3 metres above ground level during either the term of the licence or a period of five (5) years from the grant of the licence, whichever ends first?
The creation of any road, structure or hardstand area without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land on which it is created?
The use of any closed road without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land on which the road is located, or undertaking works on any road without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land on which the road is located?
Ground intrusive work that:
  1. is within 200m of a waterway? OR
  2. is on a slope steeper than one (1) vertical: three (3) horizontal? OR
  3. is of greater than two (2) hectares in an area of cultural heritage sensitivity during either the term of the licence or a period of five (5) years from the grant of the licence, whichever ends first? OR
  4. involves taking water from an aquifer, hydraulic fracturing, or excavation using heavy earth moving equipment?


If you answered Yes to any of the questions in the table above, a work plan must be submitted. If this is case, please contact us via workplan.approvals@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Requirements to carry out exploration work on the land

I/we will be undertaking low impact exploration in accordance with:*

I/we have complied with the following requirements under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 to carry out exploration work on the land:

Notice of intention to commence Exploration work on a licence

Notice

This notice is required seven (7) days prior to commencement of low impact exploration work (complying with the Code of Practice) or exploration work under a work plan.

Acknowledgements

Page last updated: 22 Mar 2021