While South Australian quarries are primarily regulated by the Department for Energy and Mining through the Mining Act 1971 and Mining Regulations 2021, quarries may also need to apply for additional approvals to operate under related legislation.
On this page you’ll find links to quarry-related legislation and guidance.
The page also links to government databases and portals that will help applicants in the development of potential impact assessments.
Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
The EPA administers the Environment Protection Act 1993 and associated Environment Protection Policies relevant to the quarrying industry:
- Environment Protection Act 1993
- Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007
- Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016
- Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015
- Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010
These policies provide the legal standard for DEM’s regulation of noise, air quality and water quality. Quarry operators must meet the criteria in these policies to show they are achieving the environmental outcomes set in their mining lease and PEPR.
If a quarry produces more than 100,000 tonnes per annum, it must be licenced by the EPA. Other quarry activities like concrete batching and waste processing are also scheduled activities that require authorisation.
EPA quarry-related information
- Guidelines for the use of the Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007
- Industry – Guideline for Community Engagement
- Standard for the production and use of Waste Derived Fill
- Information Sheet - Your Licence Explained
- Guidelines for regulatory monitoring and testing- Groundwater sampling
Department for Environment, Water and Climate (DEW)
DEW administers the following South Australian legislation relevant to quarry applications and operations:
- Landscape South Australia Act 2019
- Landscape South Australia (General) Regulations 2020
- Landscape South Australia (Water Management) Regulations 2020
- Heritage Places Act 1993
- Heritage Places Regulations 2020
- Murray-Darling Basin Act 2008
- National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972
- Native Vegetation Act 1991
- Native Vegetation Regulations 2017
- River Murray Act 2003
- River Murray Regulations 2017
- Water Resources Act 1997 and associated prescribed area regulations.
Useful guidance that should be considered when planning a new quarry or developing an operational approval is available on DEW's Planning for a development page:
DEW’s NatureMaps provides access to interactive maps and geographic information about South Australia's natural resources. It also provides spatial information on environmental elements that must be considered in quarry applications, operational plans and subsequent reviews.
DEM has delegation to approve native vegetation management plans and native vegetation clearance. Vegetation management plans and calculation of a significant environment benefit must be completed by an accredited native vegetation consultant.
Water licencing and water affecting activity permits
Quarry operations using groundwater and/or surface water in prescribed wells or water resource areas must have a licence.
To find out whether a water licence or permit is required follow the prompts on DEW’s Water licences and permits page.
DEW’s WaterConnect online portal provides the latest information about South Australia's water resources, water-related publications and data. Well labels and well information are linked to the South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG), DEM’s mapping portal, so industry can easily access all information in one place.
Other WaterConnect services:
- Apply for a water licence or permit
- Check details of water licences or permits
- Find information about wells, drillholes and bores
- Download publications and monitoring information
You can identify and process groundwater data for a mining proposal and program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) using SARIG:
Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)
The Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCcEEW) administers the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) nationally.
The EPBC Act ensures that ‘nationally significant’ animals, plants, habitats and places are identified and any potential negative impacts on them are carefully considered before changes in land use or new developments can be approved.
This means that proponents must seek Australian Government approval in addition to state, territory or local government approvals if their plans might impact on matters of national significance.
Use DCCEEW’s Protected Matters Search Tool to do a desktop review of protected matters in your project area. This may indicate the need for an on-ground survey.
Safework SA regulates mine manager competency and work, health and safety in the quarrying sector under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and regulations.
Information and requirements can be found on SafeWork SA's website:
Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT)
Upcoming DIT projects and prequalification
DIT release a regular market call forecast for upcoming infrastructure projects that quarry operators may seek to tender for.
DIT require that construction materials must be sourced from prequalified quarry suppliers.
Based on recommendations from the SA Productivity Commission’s Extractive Supply Chain Review, the Supply of Pavement Materials - Guidelines and Conditions was amended to allow more flexibility for new quarries applicants to apply for prequalification pending the outcome of their mining lease application.
If you’re looking to apply for a mining lease or to understand land uses near a quarry, you’ll find further information on zoning and future planning in The Planning and Design Code, available through the PlanSA Portal.