General conditions for mining and exploration

Open cut mine

New standard rehabilitation conditions for large mines (i.e., those with an Environment Protection Licence) come into effect Saturday 2 July 2022.

Set out in Schedule 8A of the Mining Regulation 2016, the reforms set clear, achievable and enforceable requirements for rehabilitation.

Large mines have received or will shortly be receiving a notice of the proposed variation to their existing mining leases which set out the simplified conditions to remain.

This provides lease holders with an opportunity to comment. However, final instruments of variation will not be ready by 2 July, when the new conditions in Schedule 8A of the Regulation come into effect for large mines.

This means that for a short period, both the new rehabilitation conditions and the existing individual mining lease conditions will be in force while the final instruments of variation are issued.

Where there are any inconsistencies between the two during this transition period, the conditions in the Regulation will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.  

Further information regarding the new standard rehabilitation conditions can be found here: New standard rehabilitation conditions on mining leases | NSW Resources Regulator.

All exploration licences, assessment leases and mining/production leases granted in NSW under the Mining Act 1992 and Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 are subject to a set of general conditions and if applicable, special site-specific conditions These conditions are in addition to any other conditions imposed under the Mining Act or Petroleum (Onshore) Act, appropriate development consent, or other relevant legislation for the particular activity permitted/being carried out.

The conditions impose obligations on the holder to ensure effective regulation of the activity. Matters they may relate to include but are not limited to, the development and conduct of exploration and mining operations, environmental management, protection and rehabilitation, compliance with codes of practice, ensuring public safety, security deposit, and community relations.

General and special conditions are imposed on grants and are usually updated at renewal, transfer and part transfer. General and special conditions may also be varied at other times if required (either on application by the holder or on the initiative of the decision-maker).

A breach of a general or special condition is an offence under the Mining Act and Petroleum (Onshore) Act and penalties apply.

The following are the current general conditions and special conditions that may be imposed:

Conditions on opal prospecting licence (OPL) are available at: www.regional.nsw.gov.au/meg/nsw-resources/opals/opal-prospecting-in-nsw

New mining lease general conditions

To support the new standard rehabilitation conditions set out in Schedule 8A of the Mining Regulation 2016, new general conditions in the lease instrument (conditions on title) have been prepared. Mining Leases will be subject to one common set of general conditions that are contemporary and fit for purpose, benefitting the community, industry and Government.

  • Mining leases granted on or after 2 July 2021, will be granted with the new (2021 version) set of general conditions, and if applicable, special conditions.
  • Mining leases granted before 2 July 2021, will have their existing conditions varied and new (2021 version) set of general conditions, and if applicable, special conditions imposed.