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Mining resource activities

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

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

Contact us for a free personal consultation

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of our free consultation service before lodging an application for an environmental authority or a development application. This will ensure the correct information has been provided and your application can proceed without delays.

To request advice

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) is responsible for the regulation of the environmental management performance of the mining industry in Queensland through the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. 

For a new mining project an applicant must apply concurrently for an environmental authority under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and a mining tenement under the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

Applications for environmental authorities

Applications for an environmental authority are submitted to the Mining Registrar, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Some mining activities have a lower risk of causing environmental harm. These activities may be eligible to make a standard or variation application for an environmental authority. To determine if an activity is eligible for a standard or variation application for an environmental activity, refer to the eligibility criteria and standard conditions. If all the eligibility criteria for the activity can be met, then a standard or variation application can be made. A variation application is applicable if any of the standard conditions cannot be complied with.  

An standard application for an environmental authority must certify that all mining activities proposed to be carried out under the authority can comply with the eligibility criteria and standard conditions in the relevant code of environmental compliance. An variation application an environmental authority must supply enough information in support of the application to allow EHP to decide the application.

Prospecting permits will no longer require an environmental authority.

Where an activity will result in significantly disturbed land, EHP may require an EA holder to pay financial assurance (FA). FA is a type of financial security provided to the Queensland Government to cover any costs or expenses incurred in taking action to prevent or minimise environmental harm or rehabilitate or restore the environment, should the holder fail to meet their environmental obligations. Subject to successful rehabilitation and the EA holder meeting their closure conditions, FA is returned at the end of the project.

For further information on FA, including when FA may be required and how it is calculated, refer to the Business and Industry Portal. The Business and Industry Portal includes links to all relevant documents and forms, including Version 2 of the guideline ‘Financial Assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994’, which took effect on 7 March 2014 following consultation with key stakeholders.

Pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting

Applicants are encouraged to enter into pre-design/pre-lodgement discussions with EHP before lodging a formal application through the mining registrar. These discussions allow applicants to clarify information that will be required to assess an application and the process for obtaining approvals.

For more details refer to the Pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting page.

This service can be initiated by contacting Permit and Licence Management or by email at or completing and submitting the form Application for a pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting - EM1125 (Word, 188K)‡.

‡ Requires Microsoft Office files viewer

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
7 March 2014