Mining proposals may include applications for Mineral Leases, Extractive Mineral Leases, Retention Leases and Miscellaneous Purposes Licences.
Exploration Licence applications and those relating to Private Mines are not included.
For an explanation of the different types of tenure see the Department of State Development's Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG1: Guidelines for miners: mining approval processes in South Australia (.pdf 663.4kb)
Note: the former DMITRE is now part of the Department of State Development
3.0 Things to consider before making a submission
3.1 What happens to my submission?
3.2 Can I get an extension to the deadline to make comment?
3.3 Why doesn't it appear that my comments have been taken into account?
Whilst mining is important for the economic development of South Australia, it is also important that the potential impacts on the environment and on the broader community are identified and considered.
The Mineral Resources Division within the Department of State Development have adopted recognised national regulatory principles and approaches and these are summarised in the Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG1: Guidelines for miners: mining approval processes in South Australia (.pdf 663.4kb).
Public consultation underpins these principles and approaches.
For individual mining proposals it is recognised that:
For new lease or licence applications Section 35A(1) or 53(2) of the Mining Act 1971 (external site) requires the Minister for Mineral Resources Development to publish a notice in a newspaper inviting the public to make written submissions concerning the proposal.
The application is always advertised in 'The Advertiser' and the 'Government Gazette'. Local newspapers are also used in some cases.
The lease or licence application must also be directly circulated to the local council and the landowner of the site (Section 35A(1a) and (2) or 53(4) of the Mining Act 1971).
The minimum specified time for consultation is 14 days, but this may be extended for major projects or projects where significant public comment is anticipated.
Under Section 35 of the Mining Act a Mining Lease application must be accompanied by a mining proposal (or for Miscellaneous Purposes Licences a Management Plan under Section 53) that complies with the Mining Act and the relevant Minister's Determination under the Mining Regulations 2011.
The legislation requires that when the Minister makes the decision whether to grant or refuse the application, and what conditions should be placed on the lease or licence if granted, the Minister must have regard to any submissions made in response to the public notice or submissions from the local council and affected landowner. This means that your input is essential to setting the environmental standards the mine must comply with (and which will be strictly enforced by the Department of State Development) should the lease or licence be granted. In accordance with Section 35B of the Mining Act, you will be notified of the decision in writing, including the terms and conditions of the lease if it has been granted.
The grant of the lease is only the first stage of a 2-stage approval process for new mines.
If the lease is granted, the leaseholder must prepare a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) for approval under Section 70E of the Mining Act prior to commencing mining operations or no longer than 12 months after the lease was granted.
Public consultation is not required under the Mining Act 1971 for this second stage.
Mining lease proposal documents are available from the Public Notices section of the Department of State Development's Mineral Resources Division website. If you have difficulty downloading information from the site, contact the relevant assessment officer and ask for a copy to be sent to you. Digital copies will be emailed free of charge. If you require a hard copy, a charge may be made to cover the cost of copying and postage.
A landowner who is directly affected by the mining proposal will be notified by a letter from the Department of State Development's Mineral Resources Division.
The local council is also directly informed about mining proposals in their council area. You can ask to see a copy of the proposal at the local council offices.
If you have any queries regarding a particular application, please contact the Assessment Officer whose name and contact details appear on the request for comment.
The 2-stage approval process, including the importance of public consultation and community engagement, is outlined in Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG1: Guidelines for miners: mining approval processes in South Australia (.pdf 663.4kb).
Specific requirements for information expected to be provided by the proponent in support of their application is given in Determinations.
Information for landowners who might be directly affected by proposals, including information on important legal rights that some landowners may have in regard to mining on or adjacent to their land is given in Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG4 - Guidelines: landowner rights and access arrangements in relation to mineral exploration and mining in South Australia (.pdf 1.1Mb)
Full copies of all submissions received are forwarded to the proponent and may be made available for public inspection unless confidentiality is requested.
If there are any parts of your submission you do not want to be made public, please indicate this clearly in your submission.
Submissions may be quoted in the response document submitted by the proponent or in the Department of State Development's assessment report.
The Department of State Development's Mineral Resources Division will assess the responses received and require the proponent to address specified issues before the assessment of the mining proposal can proceed.
Other issues raised may be:
The Minister will consider this response when assessing the application. If the application is granted, conditions will be attached to the approval. Often these conditions will incorporate matters that have been raised by public submissions.
The time from closing of submissions to finalisation of the assessment report and offer of the lease is usually between 1–3 months depending upon the scale and complexity of the proposal.
DSD will generally send an acknowledgement letter to people who have made submissions.
As noted above, in accordance with Section 35B of the Mining Act, you will be notified of the decision in writing, including the terms and conditions of the lease if it has been granted.
You can apply to the assessment officer listed with the invitation to comment for an extension to the deadline to submit your comments, however this will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
You should support your request for an extension by providing evidence that you could not have practically responded within the specified timeframe.
Sometimes it may be difficult to see that the comments you have made have been taken into account in the assessment report. This may be due to:
Submissions must be in writing and can be either posted, hand delivered or couriered, or emailed.
|Postal address:||Mining Regulation Branch|
Mineral Resources Division
Department of State Development
GPO Box 320
South Australia 5001
|Hand deliver or courier to:||Customer Services|
101 Grenfell Street
the Assessment Officer listed in the Public Notice
An example of an outcome related to surface water might be:
'Surface water that leaves the mine lease is free of sediment and is of a quality suitable for watering stock'
And a criterion for this outcome might be:
'Surface water is sampled when overflowing the silt trap and is analysed for salt and sediment content. The analysis demonstrates that the water is below National Environment Protection Council (NEPM) standards for stock water and meets Environment Protection Authority (EPA) standards for turbidity'
Refer to Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG2 Preparation of a Mining Lease Proposal or Mining Rehabilitation Program (MARP) in South Australia (.pdf 626.0kb) for more information on outcomes and criteria.
In your consideration of the proposal, we suggest that you focus your comments on the following matters:
For your response to have the greatest contribution to the assessment process, you should focus on providing evidence to support your concerns.
The comments should relate directly to the mining process on the proposed lease area, and not include issues outside the scope of the Mining Act 1971, e.g. processing of the ore at a site other than the mine site.
Landowner compensation issues are more appropriately dealt with via a separate part of the Mining Act 1971, and where appropriate by the Warden's Court (refer to Minerals Regulatory Guidelines MG4 - Guidelines: landowner rights and access arrangements in relation to mineral exploration and mining in South Australia (.pdf 1.1Mb) as these are private issues between the landowner and the proponent.