The Problem of Exploration on Existing Mining Tenements

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Recent events have raised the issue of whether, and if so when and how, an explorer may gather data from a mining tenement or permit which is held under the relevant mining Act by another party. Two situations arise: that of the small operator who wishes to prospect, and if successful mark off, ground held by others by virtue of the local form of exploration permit; and that of a regional explorer who may wish to enter on to some one else's existing mining tenement within the region of interest. The legal situation varies from state to state. At present the broad consensus seems to be that, provided consent is given, small-scale prospecting on another's exploration permit is at least tolerated if not actually provided for by the relevant Act. Entry onto a granted tenement to carry out any form of exploration is, however, prohibited in all jurisdictions unless consent is given. Furthermore it would appear that the proposal and conclusion of a joint venture agreement places certain obligations upon the party proposing to carry out exploration. These conclusions apply where ground surveys are proposed. Where data acquisition is by aerial survey the situation is much less clear, principally it would appear, because up to now little thought has been given to it. If trespass applies at ground level, at what height does it cease to apply? Can aerial magnetometry or photography be classified as prospecting? Is there an obligation upon public authorities who carry out remote sensing to make data available to the holders of mining tenements within the surveyed areas? Moves are now afoot to address these and other considerations, and it would be in the interests of everyone if a national approach to the problem could be adopted from the beginning. Certain suggestions in this respect are put forward.
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