Mining resource activities
Environmentally relevant activities that are resource activities can include mining activities.
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.
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.
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.
In 2014 the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 commenced which required the existing model offset conditions in the model mining conditions to be amended.
A revised version of the model mining conditions was published in May 2016 which account for:
- the commencement of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014
- the repeal of the Wild Rivers Act 2000, which required the existing wild rivers condition to be deleted.
Model conditions for diversions and environmental offsets have been integrated into the revised guideline Model mining conditions—ESR/2016/1936 (formerly EM944).
The information sheet How to address environmentally sensitive areas and offset requirements in an application for an environmental authority for resource activities—ESR/2016/1992 assists applicants with addressing environmentally sensitive areas and offset requirements in an application for an environmental authority for resource 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.