Mining and petroleum explorers and producers may have to meet other requirements under State legislation, such as to obtain an environmental permit for their operations under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.


Legislative Requirements


The mining and petroleum industries are regulated through two key pieces of legislation in NSW.


In the case of mining, the key legislation is the Mining Act 1992. The key regulation made under the Mining Act is the Mining Regulation 2010.


In the case of petroleum, the key legislation is the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991. The key regulation made under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act is the Petroleum (Onshore) Regulation 2007.


The mining and petroleum industries may also be required to comply with other legislation including:


Planning legislation


All mining and petroleum projects and most exploration activities require environmental assessment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 before they can start.


For most large projects, the proponent must submit an application for development consent with the Department of Planning & Environment and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).


State Environmental Planning policies


State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) deal with matters of State or regional environmental planning significance. They are made by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister for Planning and may be exhibited in draft form for public comment before being published as a legal document.


The State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 aims to identify development that is State Significant Development or State Significant Infrastructure and Critical State Significant Infrastructure and to confer functions on joint regional planning panels to determine development applications.


The State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 aims to provide for the proper management and development of mineral, petroleum and extractive material resources for the social and economic welfare of the State. The Policy establishes planning controls to encourage ecologically sustainable development.


Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation


The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 apply to all workplaces in NSW, including mining workplaces. 


Work Health and Safety (Mines) legislation


The Work Health and Safety (Mines) Act 2013 and Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulation 2014 apply to all mining workplaces in NSW. These laws support the WHS Act and WHS Regulation and provide additional provisions for work health and safety issues unique to mines.


The current WHS (Mines) legislation commenced on 1 February 2015. It was drafted based on the national model WHS Regulations for mining and the additional tri-state mining provisions agreed by NSW, Queensland and Western Australia. The new legislation replaced the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002, Coal Mine Health and Safety Regulation 2006, Mine Health and Safety Act 2004 and Mine Health and Safety Regulation 2007. 


Radiation Control legislation


The Radiation Control Act 1990 has been amended to include 'radioactive ores' and the new legislation commenced on 1 July 2013. The change gives jurisdiction to the Mine Safety regulator over exploration, mining, and processing of radioactive ores in NSW. 


Explosives legislation


The use of explosives in all NSW workplaces is covered by the Explosives Act 2003 and Explosives Regulation 2013. The main purpose of the legislation is to improve public safety and security of explosives (as well as concentrated ammonium nitrate) by preventing unauthorised access. Under the legislation, anyone handling explosives needs to hold a Blasting Explosives Users License.