Community glossary

We have made a list of the most common words and phrases you will need as a community member.

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Crown land

Land belonging to the State of Victoria (the Crown).

Land affected

Land subject to work under a licence which includes the surface of the land and the land to a depth of 100 metres.


An owner, occupier, person or body responsible for the management of the land.


Consultation is a two-way communication process between the licensee and the community, as defined by the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development Act) 1990 (MRSDA). The licensee shares information with the community about any activities permitted in the licence that may affect the community. Community members also have reasonable opportunity to express their views.

Community Engagement (CE)

Community engagement is interactions between key stakeholders and includes processes for the purpose of problem-solving or decision-making where community input is used to improve decisions.

Environment Effects Statement (EES)

The licensee prepares an Environment Effects Statement (EES) which usually contains:

  • a description of the proposed development
  • an outline of public and stakeholder consultation
  • a description of the existing environment that may be affected
  • predictions of significant environmental effects of the proposal and relevant alternatives
  • proposed measures to avoid, minimise or manage adverse environmental effects
  • a proposed program for monitoring and managing environmental effects during the project.

Permitted clearing of native vegetation – Biodiversity assessment guidelines

A Victorian Government initiative which strives for net gain in native vegetation via protection, enhancement and revegetation of the state’s native plants. Environmental net gain is restoring a work site's native plants so the improvements outweigh the original loss.

Rehabilitation bond

A rehabilitation bond secures the payment of a specified amount of money for any necessary rehabilitation work resulting from minerals exploration or a mining operation.


Exploration for minerals may involve:

  • conducting geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys
  • drilling
  • taking soil samples for the purpose of chemical or other analysis
  • removing minerals from land, other than for the purpose of producing them commercially
  • in relation to an exploration licence, anything else (except mining) that is specified in the licence.

See also ‘low-impact exploration’.

Exploration licence

An exploration licence gives the licence holder exclusive rights to explore for a specific mineral group(s) within the specified licence area.

  • During the term of an exploration licence, the area is subject to rules which decrease the licence area:
  • At two years, the licence area must be decreased by at least 25 per cent.
  • At four years, the licence area must be decreased by at least 35 per cent.
  • At seven years, the licence area must be decreased by at least 20 per cent.
  • At ten years, the licence area must be decreased by at least 10 per cent.

An exploration licence does not permit mining, or guarantee that a mining licence will be granted. The licence holder may also apply for a mining or retention licence.

Graticular section

The area where an exploration licence is granted. The minimum section size is one square kilometre (equal to one graticular section or 100 hectares), while the maximum size is 500 square kilometres (or larger with the minister’s approval).

Low-impact exploration

Low-impact exploration is usually an explorer's first course of action. There are limits on road use; the removal of trees and plants; and underground intrusion.  A detailed explanation is available in the MRSDA.


A mineral is any substance that occurs naturally as part of the earth's crust. Many minerals have commercial value, such as gold, copper, iron ore, coal, or petroleum, which are removed by mining, quarrying, or drilling.

In Victoria, the minerals being referred to through some of our regulations generally include coal, gold, copper and other base metals.

Find out more about the types of minerals found in Victoria.


Mining is removing minerals from the land for the purpose of commercial production which includes processing and treating ore (a rock or mineral).


A licensee is the person or entity who holds the licence and may be represented by a company delegate, agent or contractor.

Mining Licence

A mining licence permits the licensee to explore for minerals; and construct mining facilities within a specified area for the mining operation.

Retention licence

A retention licence is suitable when a mineral resource has been found, and it's not yet commercially viable to mine, but may be in the future.

The licence holder has sole rights to the mineral resource while assessing the mineral deposit for commercial potential.

A retention licence may be granted for up to 10 years and can be renewed twice.

A retention licence holder may also apply for a mining licence.

Statement of economic significance

The mining licensee prepares a statement of economic significance about agricultural land not owned by them.

A statement of economic significance for the proposed mine needs to include an assessment of benefits to Victoria, including employment and revenue (MRSDA).

Work plan

A work plan details the onsite works for the project and the land renewal needed upon completion.

Future Act Assessment

An assessment that decides if a licence applicant needs to reach an agreement with a person making a native title claim.

Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)

A registered agreement between people making a Native Title claim and the Minerals Council of Australia (Victorian Division) for the use of an exploration licence.


A quarry is a pit made in land below the natural surface for the purpose of removing stone if a primary purpose of the removal is the sale or commercial use of the stone or public works.

Extractive work authority

An extractive work authority gives quarry operators the right to extract stone (e.g. sand, gravel and hard rock) from land with the landholder's consent.

It is granted after a work plan is approved, planning approval is granted, and all other consents required are in place before starting.


Stone refers to sandstone, freestone or other building stone; or basalt, granite, limestone or rock of any kind ordinarily used for building, manufacturing or construction.

Page last updated: 25 Jan 2023