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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

Update on Mining Regulations 2020

The mining regulations are required to support the Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Act 2019, which as passed on 17 October 2019.

The process to develop the updated mining regulations is underway and interested stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment on the draft regulations.

For more information and to register your interest to receive updates on the draft regulation review process visit the Update on Mining Regulations 2020 page on this website.

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 Mineral Resources Division is committed to a mutual working relationship with the Environment Protection Authority to support a consistent and efficient environmental regulation of mineral resources.

More about these administrative arrangements

For more information, contact:

Mining Registrar
Mineral Resources Division
Department for Energy and Mining

Phone: +61 8 8463 3103