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Mining resource activities

Environmentally relevant activities that are resource activities can include mining activities.

Reform of Queensland’s financial assurance system

In June 2014, the Reform of Queensland’s financial assurance system—Discussion paper (PDF, 859K)* was released for public comment.

All submissions from the discussion paper have been reviewed and a summary of the issues raised is available to view in the consultation report (PDF, 186K)*.

The discussion paper proposed an alternative pooled fund model for financial assurance to spread the risk of default across the resource industry. The model was developed to reflect the low likelihood that all operators would default on their rehabilitation obligations at the same time, and also address concerns from the resource industry that the current system of financial assurance is unnecessarily costly.

Based on the results of consultation the Queensland Government is reconsidering its approach and has decided not to proceed with the pooled fund model.

Instead, an alternative framework for negotiated risk evaluated financial assurance is now being developed. This framework will determine principles and criteria that better reflect the overall risk to the state of project abandonment.

The objectives of the reform remain the same. These are to:

  • ensure that the government holds sufficient money to cover the risk that a resource operator will default on their rehabilitation obligations.
  • provide a model that reduces the cost to the resources industry of doing business in Queensland. 
  • implement a rate of contribution that reflects the financial risk of an operator being able to meet their rehabilitation obligations i.e. a system that better reflects the overall risk of default on rehabilitation obligations.
  • encourage ongoing rehabilitation by operators.

The negotiated risk evaluated financial assurance framework will be developed in consultation with the resource industry to commence in early 2015.

More information

For more information about proposed reforms to Queensland's financial assurance system, email

Approval of watercourse diversions associated with mining projects

The Water Act 2000 provides an exemption from the requirement to gain authorisation under that Act for watercourse diversions associated with resource activities if:

  • the impacts of the proposed diversion are assessed as part of a grant of an environmental authority (EA) for the activity, and
  • the EA is granted with a condition about the diversion of the watercourse.

This streamlined approach is available for mining proponents seeking to establish a diversion on a mining lease.

Mining proponents wishing to seek approval under the Environmental Protection Act for a watercourse diversion will be required to include details of the proposed design of the diversion as a part of their application documents for the EA. Public notification of the proposal may be required and certifications by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland are required at various stages.

Model conditions for diversions are integrated with other model mining conditions (PDF, 682K)*. Like other conditions on an environmental authority, conditions imposed in relation to watercourse diversions must be complied with.

More information about approval requirements under the EP Act framework, and technical information about how the required outcomes can be achieved, can be found in the DNRM Guideline Works that interfere with water in a watercourse—watercourse diversions (PDF)*.

Note: Proponents holding existing watercourse diversion approvals as ‘licences-to-interfere’ under the Water Act, who wish to consolidate their approvals under their EA, would have to apply for an amendment to their EA and would be subject to the same requirements as a proponent for a new diversion.

What licence or permit do I need?

To conduct a mining activity you will require an environmental authority.

If the activity you are proposing to undertake requires tenure you will also need to have an approval from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

For further information in relation to applying for an environmental authority for a mining ERA (resource activity) including how to prepare you application, the forms and fees applicable and where to lodge your application please refer to the Business and industry portal

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Central Queensland mine water release pilot

Four coal mines in the Fitzroy region have been provided approval to conduct an enhanced mine water release pilot during the 2012-13 wet season. Read more…

Oil Shale Policy

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has recently completed a review of QER’s oil shale demonstration plant at Gladstone. See Oil shale development in Queensland for the technical report.  Information on the future of oil shale development in Queensland is set out in the Government’s oil shale policy.

Last updated
9 January 2015