An exploration licence (EL) is the principal title issued for exploration in the state of South Australia.

Important note: Changes from 1 January 2021

Changes to the Mining Act 1971, regulations under the Act and related policies and guidelines came into force from 1 January 2021.

A new departmental guideline, Mineral exploration licences MG33, covers these changes in relation to exploration licensing. This document replaces and supersedes the previous guidelines, M05 Mineral exploration licences - General conditions, procedures and information and MG17 Guidelines: applying for mineral exploration release areas (ERAs) in South Australia.

An exploration licence (EL) authorises the licensee, subject to the Mining Act 1971, regulations made under the Act and conditions of the licence, to explore for all minerals and/or opal other than extractive minerals (that is, building construction materials). An EL excludes current mining tenements (mineral claims, retention leases and mining leases) and any other areas not available for exploration (wilderness areas, certain parks, Mining Act reserves, coastlines etc).

Tenement information/SARIG

Information about current mineral tenements is available via the South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG).

SARIG can be used to:

  • Identify ground open for exploration licence application
  • Download exploration data and reports
  • Apply online for new exploration licences and renewals
  • Track the processing status of an EL application
  • Download mineral exploration application/licence reports M01, M02, M03, M04 (see below)
  • Download and print state maps (updated daily) including:
    • Mineral exploration tenement applications
    • Mineral exploration licences
    • Mineral exploration release areas
    • Mineral production tenements
    • Land access considerations, for example Parks, Aboriginal Land, Defence Lands etc.

Information about mineral exploration licence applications, licences, licence holders and exploration release areas is published in the following information sheets:

For more information

Mineral Tenements
Phone: +61 8 8463 3103

Postal address (for forms, report submissions):
Mineral Tenements
GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001

Street address:
Resource Information Centre
Level 4, 11 Waymouth Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Maps and historical information are available from:
Customer Services
Phone: +61 8 8463 3000