7 February 2023

A new voluntary Code of Conduct for Explorers outlining good practice engagement requirements to support exploration and mining companies in the development of relationships with landowners has been released by the State Government.

The Code of Conduct seeks to promote transparency – in an Australian first, it provides an assessment framework for companies to review their performance. Transparency is a vital part of the industry demonstrating its performance to stakeholders and their environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials.

The Code provides a practical way for companies to assist in developing good relations with landowners where projects have potential to impact their land, particularly for junior explorers.

The Code of Conduct will assist explorers deliver good practice outcomes, including:

  • methods for stakeholder engagement
  • a guide to good-faith agreement-making and information sharing
  • ways to demonstrate biosecurity risk management
  • ways to minimise the impact of exploration activities

The Code of Conduct is voluntary, however adoption of the Code may assist explorers to demonstrate operator capability and engagement aspects of new exploration licence requirements.

Explorers using the Code and auditing approach will boost their engagement, transparency and performance, assisting both explorers and landowners to develop relationships based on shared information and understanding.

The Code has been welcomed by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), the peak industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia, as well as key companies.

These include IGO Limited, a leading company with exploration projects in South Australia, which said: “IGO welcomed the opportunity to contribute to developing of a Code of Conduct supporting best practice early engagement by mineral explorers in SA.”

“IGO's on-ground experience in SA in future-facing metals working towards a net-zero future has demonstrated that early engagement with stakeholders is essential to the long-term success of our exploration projects,” the company said.

“The development of innovative ways to minimise exploration impacts has also contributed towards our ability to meet the expected environmental outcomes over time. 

“In conjunction with AMEC, IGO is pleased to share our experiences and knowledge to assist developing this code."

Other companies engaged in the development of the Code include Coda Minerals, a junior explorer with exploration projects in South Australia.

More detail about the Code: Mineral exploration code of conduct

Download the Code: Mineral exploration code of conduct (PDF, 356.0 KB)