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Exploration Licence - Application (WA)

Exploration Licence Application Requirements:

  1. Under s69 of the Mining Act an application for a exploration licence or prospecting licence can not be made within 3 months of surrender, forfeiture or partial surrender of another exploration licence by a person or related person (see s4.4 Mining Act for definition). Previous notice of a surrender by the new applicant is allowed: see Korab Resources Ltd v Richmond [2007] WAMW 16 (PDF). Warden Caulder: “There is nothing in the legislation that expressly or impliedly prohibits a tenement holder from informing any person at any time of an intention to surrender. There is nothing in the legislation that expressly or impliedly prohibits an applicant for grant of a tenement from making such an application having been told by the surrendering holder or any other person or class of persons of the pending surrender and of the precise time and date that the surrender will be lodged.” A mining lease may be applied over the same ground. Holding shares in a publicly list company is not regarded as a related party (s69(2)).
  2. The maximum size of a exploration licence varies in the State being 200 block in one area and 70 block in another ss57(2), 57(2aa) and 57A refer to map on this link Map showing Zones for 70 and 200 block areas (PDF).
  3. Under s57(2a) an application for an exploration licence must be a single area and have contiguous blocks with common sides. Under s57(2b) an application may form 2 or 3 separate areas if another tenement is granted since the application. s57(2c) - (2ea) have provisions in the Act in respect to part blocks.
  4. Where there is more than one applicant for a tenement (other than a miscellaneous licence) over the same ground the person who first complies with the 'initial requirements' has the right of priority... s105A (p118 M Hunt Mining Law in WA Federation Press).
  5. There are currently 12 (in 2015) 57(4) areas where exploration licence applications cannot be made (refer to Tengraph for the location of the areas). The 57(4) areas were initially put aside for small scale miners.

An application must be made on a Form 21 Application for Mining Tenement (PDF) and lodged at the Office of the Mining Registrar; or lodged electronically via the DMIRS website via the online transactions.

Using elodgement out of hours the application is deemed to be received at 8.30am.

Under s58 of the Act the application is to be accompanied by

  • a map of the tenement;
  • the application fee:
  • first years rent:
  • a statement specifying
    • the proposed method of exploration;
    • details of the proposed work programme;
    • estimate of the proposed expenditure on the licence;
    • the applicant technical and financial ability of the applicant unless:
      • the applicant is a natural person;
      • the licence is 4 blocks or less;
      • the statement states the applicant will use their own labour.

If the licence is over private land it is advisable to add a statement on the application stating that the application is for subsurface rights only so all the notifications required for private land are not required. Also consider placing this statement on all applications so minor private land holdings are not overlooked.

Within 14 days

  • a copy of the application must be sent by registered post to the pastoralist. (r64B);
  • any miscellaneous holder underlying the tenement;
  • if private land underlies the application
    • the clerk of the local shire;
    • the owner and occupier (the person renting the land)
    • each mortgagee

Within 28 days of the application a $5000 security is to be lodged. Within 28 days an affidavit stating that the notice had been served on the relevant parties

The following link shows the the flow chart for the grant of an exploration licence FlowChart for Prospecting/ Exploration Licence Grant(PDF)