Mining resource activities

Environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) that are resource activities can include mining activities.

Changes to waste ERA framework

The waste-related environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) are changing. If you operate a waste-related ERA as an ancillary activity and amend your environmental authority to add or change a threshold for a waste-related ERA or add a tenure, the changes could affect your annual fees. Please check the New Regulated Waste Classification and Waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity Regulations webpage to determine the impact of the changes on your environmental authority.

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 1994 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 Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) 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.

Environmental offsets

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) (PDF, 1.2MB) .

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 (PDF, 273.7KB) assists applicants with addressing environmentally sensitive areas and offset requirements in an application for an EA for resource activities.

Submission of spatial information

Several application and approval processes under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (the EP Act) require the submission of spatial information to the Department of Environment and Science. Approved forms (such as the annual return and certain application forms) identify spatial information requirements and environmental authority holders are required to familiarise themselves of the relevant spatial information obligations. For further information, refer to Submission of spatial information.

What licence or permit do I need?

To conduct a mining activity you may require an EA.

Alternatively, the application forms for standard, variation or site-specific application for mining activities are available on the Business Queensland website.

For advice about applications for EAs contact Permit and Licence Management:

Email:

Phone: 1300 130 372 (and select option four)

For further information in relation to applying for an EA for a mining ERA (resource activity) including how to prepare you application, the forms and fees applicable please visit the Business Queensland website.

Oil Shale Policy

The department has recently completed a review of QER’s oil shale demonstration plant at Gladstone. See Oil shale development in Queensland for the technical report.