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Mining Operations

The Mining Regulation and Rehabilitation Branch of DMITRE regulates all operating mine and quarry sites. Each mining operation has a DMITRE Mining Compliance officer who is responsible for ensuring the site is operated in compliance with lease conditions and its program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR).

The provision for a PEPR under the amended Mining Act commenced on 1 July 2011. This replaced the regulation under the Mining Act relating to the requirement for a Mining and Rehabilitation Program (MARP).

Mining proposals and applications

There is a two-stage authorisation process for mining in South Australia.

Applications for a mineral lease (ML) or extractive mineral lease (EML), retention lease (RL) or miscellaneous purposes licence (MPL) must be supported by a 'Mining Lease Proposal'.

Once a tenement is granted, a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) is required to be approved before mining may commence.

Appropriate documentation is required to be prepared and submitted to DMITRE for approval. The purpose of the documentation is to provide a comprehensive and detailed description of environmental, social and economic risks and benefits of the proposed operation so that stakeholders and DMITRE can make an informed, risk-based and balanced judgement about the proposed operation.

Flowchart of mining proposal approval processes

Indicative timeframes for DMITRE mining lease application assessment process

Documents in support of applications for mineral leases and licences to enable mining operations may be posted for public comment under the Public Notices section of this website.

Regulatory guidelines have been developed by DMITRE to assist mining companies in understanding the approvals process, including environmental responsibilities, native title issues and to assist in helping inform the community of the exploration and mining process.

Consultants who specialise in assisting mining companies to prepare appropriate documentation may be listed in the 'Mining Proposals and Programs (preparation of)' category of DMITRE's South Australia Minerals Service Directory.

Self assessment tool for management systems

A tool for the self assessment of health, safety and management systems (.pdf 884kb)

Coal seam gas and large coal mining developments

Under a National Partnership Agreement coal seam gas and large coal mining developments must be referred to an Independent Expert Scientific Committee for advice if the proposal is likely to have a significant impact on water resources.

Uranium incident reports

South Australia's uranium mines and processing facilities are required to report incidents involving the unplanned release of radioactive process materials, radioactive liquids or radioactive wastes associated with the physical and chemical processing of uranium ores, following Standard criteria and procedures.

Mining Projects

Current developing projects

Information about some of the developing projects that DMITRE is case managing through the approvals process.

Approved mines

Information about mines for which a MARP or PEPR has been approved.

Opal Mining


Extractive minerals


Minerals Regulatory Guidelines

MG1 Guidelines for miners: mining approval processes in South Australia (.pdf 663.4kb)

MG2
Preparation of a Mining Lease Proposal or Mining Rehabilitation Program (MARP) in South Australia (.pdf 626.0kb)

Note: this is the January 2011 version, currently in revision to include provisions under the amended Mining Act

MG3
Guidelines for miners: preparation of a mining and rehabilitation compliance report (MARCR) in South Australia (.pdf 313.8kb)

MG4
Guidelines: landowner rights and access arrangements in relation to mineral exploration and mining in South Australia (.pdf 1.1Mb)

MG5
Guidelines for miners: tailings and tailings storage facilities in South Australia (.pdf 162.3kb)

MG6 Guidelines for miners: preparation of a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) for extractive mineral operations in South Australia (.pdf 1.86Mb) 

MG8 Guidelines: program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) for low impact mineral exploration in South Australia (.pdf 263.6kb)

MG9 Guidelines: preparation of a declaration of environmental factors (DEF) for mineral exploration (.pdf 498.0kb)

MG10 Guidelines: preparation of an exploration work approval (EWA) for mineral exploration (.pdf 396.2kb) 

MG12 Guidelines for miners: preparation of a mine operations plan (MOP) (.pdf 1.29Mb)

MG13 Mineral exploration reporting guidelines for South Australia (.pdf 2.8Mb)

MG14 Extractive areas rehabilitation fund: guidelines for operation (.pdf 1.83Mb)

MG16 Guidelines for a native vegetation significant environmental benefit policy for the clearance of native vegetation associated with the minerals and petroleum industry. Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (.pdf 609.8kb)

MG17 Mineral exploration release areas (ERAs): policies and procedures (.pdf 388.4kb)  

MG18 Guidelines for explorers: submission of representative samples for mineral exploration drillholes (.pdf 3.7Mb)