Purpose of a tenement document

Tenement documents are generated when, following a formal application process and detailed assessment by the department, in accordance with the Mining Act 1971 (the Act), the Mining Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) and terms of reference, the Minister decides to grant a mining tenement.

The primary purpose of a tenement document (commonly called a 'lease' or a 'licence') is to inform the tenement holder and the general public about the specific details of a particular grant.

The tenement document does not set out all of the things that a tenement holder must do; the Act, Regulations, terms of reference and determinations – and other relevant State and Commonwealth legislation – contain a large number of additional requirements with which tenement holders must also comply. The tenement document does, however, provide the terms, conditions and clauses specific to the grant for ensuring the acceptable conduct of mining operations on that mineral tenement.

Format and content of tenement documents

The tenement document must be read in entirety in the context of the Act, Regulations, terms of reference and determinations in order to understand the complete regulatory obligations imposed by the Minister on the tenement holder.

The tenement document consists of:

1. The front page

The front page gives the reader basic tenement information. For example, it contains the tenement holder’s name and the tenement’s commencement and expiration dates.

2. The contents page

The contents page provides headings, paragraph and page numbers and describes the schedules.

3. The body of the tenement document

The body of the tenement document contains:

(a) Details of the grant

(b) The terms and conditions required by the Act to be specified in the tenement document

(c) Environmental outcomes

(d) Selected restatements of sections of the Act and Regulations

(e) Definitions

(f) Rules on interpretation

4. Schedules

There are usually four schedules, however the number may vary depending on the scale and type of application. In most instances, the four schedules are:

  • First schedule – Additional terms
  • Second schedule – Additional conditions
  • Third schedule – Map and description of the tenement area
  • Fourth schedule – Environmental outcomes, criteria and strategies required in the program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR).

Mining operations and environment protection and rehabilitation

If a lease or licence is granted, mining operations must not commence until a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) is approved. The PEPR is the 'operating approval' for a site, and describes how the terms, conditions and requirements of the lease or licence will be met. It also details how the tenement holder will demonstrate achievement of the environmental outcomes for the mine or quarry, including for final closure and completion after operations have ended.

The tenement document reflects this requirement in two significant ways. First, the body of the tenement document contains extensive restatements about the PEPR and the process for its approval. Secondly, the types of environmental outcomes, criteria and strategies that the tenement holder will need to address in its PEPR are included in the tenement document, particularly in the fourth schedule.

If a lease or licence is granted, actual mining operations must not commence until the tenement holder has submitted a ‘Proposed PEPR’ for approval and the Minister has approved it.

The Minister will only approve the proposed PEPR if:

(a) It is consistent with the mining lease proposal or management plan

(b) It contains all of the information that the Act, Regulations or terms of reference say it must

(c) Additional conditions about the PEPR are complied with, and

(d) It addresses strategies and criteria to be adopted to measure environmental outcomes listed in the fourth schedule.

Additionally, prior to commencement of activities, authorised access is required to all land relevant to the operations described in the PEPR.

For more information

Mineral Tenements Program
+61 8 8463 3103