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Mining in South Australia cannot be undertaken on Crown or private land unless in accordance with the provisions of the following acts and regulations:

  • Mining Act 1971 and Mining Regulations 2011 made under the Act
  • Offshore Minerals Act 2000
  • Opal Mining Act 1995 and Opal Mining Regulations 2012 made under the Act

Leading practice Mining Acts review

Reviews of the following Acts and Regulations made under these Acts are currently in progress:

  • Mines and Works Inspection Act 1920
  • Mining Act 1971
  • Opal Mining Act 1995

More about the review and progress updates

Mining Act 1971

The Mining Act 1971 and Regulations made under the Act:

  • Provide that all minerals are the property of the Crown
  • Provide for the issue of mineral tenements that give rights with respect to mineral exploration and production
  • Establish landholder and licensee rights with regard to access to land and provide for compensation for any resulting damage
  • Provide for the regulation of operations within tenements
  • Provide for the collection of royalties on production; plus a range of fees for required approvals, annual tenement fees and penalties for breaches of the legislation
  • Provide for the appointment of inspectors and authorised persons to have access to tenements
  • Provide specific definitions of minerals, prospecting, exploration and mining

Offshore Minerals Act 2000

The Offshore Minerals Act 2000 came into operation on 4 May 2002. The various state, Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments agreed that, as far as is practicable, a common offshore mining regime should apply in both Commonwealth and state/territory waters.

The OffShore Minerals Act applies to coastal waters from the coastal boundary of the state to 3 nautical miles beyond the baseline and includes the gulf waters.

Any proposed exploration and /or mining activities to be undertaken in coastal waters are governed by this legislation.

Opal Mining Act 1995

The Opal Mining Act 1995 came into operation in 1997.

Whilst the laws for opal mining apply throughout the state, there are special provisions within the Act that apply to the proclaimed precious stone fields. The precious stone fields include Andamooka, Mintabie, Coober Pedy, and Stuart Creek.

More about opal mining in South Australia

Administrative arrangements

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for the administration of the:

The Mineral Resources Division of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet is responsible for the administration of the:

The EPA and the Mineral Resources Division have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to develop and comply with Administrative Arrangements to achieve consistent and efficient environmental regulation of mineral resources under the Acts for which they are responsible, especially when the obligations and responsibilities of the parties under the Acts overlap.

The MoU creates a long term commitment to a mutual working relationship between the parties. It was established to enable administrative arrangements to be developed between the agencies to support the consistent and efficient environmental regulation of mineral resources.

Administrative arrangements between the EPA and the Mineral Resources Division (PDF 1.2 MB)
Dated March 2013

Memorandum of Understanding between the Environment Protection Authority and the Mineral Resources Division (PDF 906 KB)
Dated 17 August 2012

For more information, contact:

Mining Registrar
Mineral Resources Division
Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Phone: +61 8 8463 3103
Email: dpc.tenements@sa.gov.au