The Government of South Australia is committed to effective and efficient regulation of South Australia's mineral exploration and mining sectors

Maintaining a leading regulatory framework

The Mineral Resources Division's role is to:

  • administer and manage the state’s mineral resources
  • efficiently and effectively regulate the mineral exploration and mining sectors
  • balance the resources sector’s contribution to the state’s future economic prosperity with key environmental and social objectives.

Best practice management of South Australia’s mineral assets and streamlined regulation of authorised operations attracts investment that delivers sustainable benefit and prosperity.

The Government of South Australia recognises that exploration and mining sectors need predictable procedures and regulatory processes to commit to higher investment risks in their operations.

It is important that exploration and mining companies (tenement holders) work with communities to achieve a social licence to operate and establish effective, long-term working relationships. It is critical that communities can have confidence in the industry’s overall performance and tenement holders demonstrate commitment to best practice environmental management. Community confidence will only be gained when industry and the community work together cooperatively and openly in good faith to develop and achieve mutually acceptable outcomes.

Policy statement

The Government of South Australia has adopted a contemporary framework for regulating authorised operations that is consistent with:

Principles for effective and efficient regulation

The Government of South Australia is committed to these fundamental regulatory principles:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency: A streamlined, fit-for-purpose, regulatory approach, appropriate for the circumstances, to achieve clearly identifiable outcomes.
  • Accountability: Ensuring responsibility and accountability are clearly assigned and understood by tenement holders and the community.
  • Enforcement: Ensuring tenement holders achieve approved outcomes.
  • Engagement: Valuing the informed involvement of communities and other stakeholders in processes leading to decision-making and achievement of a social licence to operate.

Key features

Key features of our regulatory processes that aim to deliver effective and efficient regulation are:

  • Fair and equitable: The interests of all stakeholders will be considered.
  • Timely: Decisions will be made in the minimum possible time.
  • Transparent: Public release of information on the regulatory processes and decisions will be timely and appropriate.
  • Predictable: Processes will be consistent, leading to clearly identifiable, social and economic outcomes.
  • Practical: Outcomes will be achievable in a practical sense.
  • Flexible: Alternative and innovative approaches that take account of changing circumstances, such as advances in technology and community expectations over the long life of a project, will be enabled.
  • Efficient: Red tape will be minimised and regulatory processes simplified and tailored to achieve timely decision-making.
  • Objective: Decisions will be based on sound scientific and technical information.
  • Inclusive: Stakeholders will be engaged and informed and their views will be taken into account.

Regulatory approach

The South Australian government’s approach to effective regulation, including decision-making, will be achieved by:

  • applying recognised industry and national standards
  • a whole-of-project-life approach, including closure and completion
  • balanced assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts
  • a risk-based approach to determine what impacts must be managed
  • performance-based criteria focusing on outcomes rather than inputs
  • minimising government and community liability
  • clear accountability for the tenement holder to achieve community and government expectations including:
    • stakeholder engagement to establish best practice environmental and site management processes and outcomes that are appropriate for the authorised operations through life-of-project and beyond closure
    • demonstration of ability to achieve agreed outcomes
    • demonstration of achievement of agreed outcomes
  • collaboration with other government agencies to achieve government priorities, engaging their expertise and authority where required
  • ensuring compliance through best-practice strategies, including enforcement actions when necessary, that ensure tenement holders consistently achieve agreed outcomes.

For more information

If you have any questions regarding the Mining Act 1971 or the Mining Regulations 2020 contact:

Mineral Tenements
Phone: +61 8 8463 3103
DEM.Tenements@sa.gov.au