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Extractive mineral commodities

Extractive minerals include sand, gravel, stone, shell or clay when used generally for construction purposes, but excludes these materials if they are used for industrial, agricultural and ornamental (dimension stone) uses. This includes exclusions for some clay (fireclay, bentonite or kaolin).

South Australian extractive mineral commodities

Mining extractive minerals

Obtaining approval to mine in South Australia is a two stage process.

Stage 1

Before mining extractive minerals prospective miners must apply for an extractive minerals lease (EML). An EML application consists of the relevant fee, a completed Form 10 and a mining proposal as per section 35 of the Mining Act 1971.

The mining proposal provides:

  • a description of the existing environment
  • proposed mining methods
  • details of community consultation
  • a description of the potential impacts and suggests environmental outcomes to be achieved based on these impacts.

The minimum amount of information required for a mining proposal to be deemed adequate by the Minister is outlined in Ministerial Determination 003.

Stage 2

Following grant of an EML applicants must submit a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR). The minimum amount of information required for a PEPR to be deemed adequate by the Minister is outlined in Ministerial Determination 002.

The grant of an EML only grants mining tenure over the area identified. It does not provide authority to mine.

eEvaluation tool

To apply for an EML for small scale quarry operations with defined impacts using the template, applicants must first determine whether their proposed mining operation is considered eligible against a set of criteria. The criteria are available for completion online on the South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG).

Only applicants successful in meeting the eligibility criteria will be able to download the mining proposal template.

Applicants who have used the template and been granted an EML will be able to use the corresponding PEPR template.

Submissions that closely follow process outline in the Minerals Regulatory Guideline MG23 Guidelines for miners: Preparation of a mining proposal/program for environment protection and rehabilitation for quarries in South Australia with defined impacts (PDF 2.8 MB)  will result in a streamlined assessment of both the mining proposal and PEPR, enabling mining to commence in a timely fashion.

Note: Mining cannot commence until a PEPR has been approved.

Ministerial Determinations

1. What is a ministerial determination?

A ministerial determination provides the minimum information that must be submitted for an extractive minerals lease or miscellaneous purposes licence application to be deemed valid for assessment. In accordance with Mining Regulations 30(3) and 49(3), the Minister may publish a notice in the Gazette detailing the manner and form, amount and detail of any information that must be acquired or provided for these applications.

2. Updating the determinations

In late 2015, the Department released templates to assist small scale quarry applicants to prepare:

  • a mining proposal required under Section 35 the Mining Act 1971, which must accompany an application for an extractive minerals lease; and
  • a program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) required under Section 70B of the Mining Act 1971 for authorising operations on extractive minerals leases.

Following release of the templates, the Department reviewed the current Extractive Mineral Lease Ministerial Determinations for both mining proposals (MD 003) and PEPRs (MD 002).

The review and subsequent engagement with industry highlighted improvements that could be made to ensure the determinations are fit for purpose.

On 10 June 2016, the Department ran a workshop to:

  • provide CCAA (Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia) members clarity on the risk and performance based approach required by the Mining Act 1971, Mining Regulations 2011 and associated Ministerial Determinations;
  • receive feedback from CCAA members on areas that could be improved;
  • present recently released Defined Impact Templates to CCAA members; and
  • provide an open forum for CCAA members / the extractives industry to discuss opportunities for further improving approval processes that support the growth of the industry and positive working relationships with community.

Following the workshop, the Department began work to review and update the current ministerial determinations in consultation with the CCAA and a steering group consisting of industry representatives established to consider the amendments.

Stakeholder comments were sought on the draft of the updated ministerial determination for mining proposals (Ministerial Determination 003). Comments received were considered and relevant amendments made to the determination.

Following this engagement the Department finalised the ministerial determination for PEPRs  (Ministerial Determination 002) to ensure it was consistent with the amended MD 003.

3. Revised determinations

The updated Ministerial Determinations are now in effect.

Environmental outcomes guidelines

Development of environmental outcomes for quarrying and miningMG30: Development of environmental outcomes for quarrying and mining (PDF 1.1 MB)
Published April 2020

This guideline has been developed to improve efficiency and clarity for quarrying and mining applicants, and assist proponents and stakeholders by:

  • providing regulator-approved environmental outcome wording
  • providing a better understanding of government and stakeholder expectations regarding appropriate environmental outcomes, enabling these to be considered at early project planning stages
  • ensuring consistency of environmental outcomes
  • explaining the regulatory and policy principles that apply to the setting of environmental outcomes.