Land survey requirements


A person who intends to apply for a retention or mining licence must survey the boundaries of the land proposed to be covered by the licence, in the manner required by the mineral industries regulations. The survey must be submitted as part of the licence application.

This requirement is set by:

  • the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (the Act), sections 26AR to 26AV; and
  • the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations), Regulation 24.

A person who intends to apply for a prospecting licence may also be required to undertake and submit a survey as part of their licence application. This requirement would be on request from the Department Head, in order to:

  • ensure that the location of the licence application area is specified accurately; or
  • avoid the possibility of a boundary dispute with a nearby licence.

Authority to enter land

You must have authority to enter land before you enter it to undertake a survey.

Land typeRequirement
Private landYou must have written consent to enter the land from the owner or occupier
Occupied Crown landYou must have written consent to enter the land from the occupier
All other Crown landYou must have provided written notice of your intention to enter the land to the person responsible for managing it

If the owner or occupier of land has:

  • been uncontactable despite you having made reasonable attempts to contact them;
  • failed to give consent; or
  • refused consent

the Department Head may instead provide you with a written authority to enter it under section 26AS of the Act.


Before this authority could be granted, you would need to provide the Department Head with security against the risk of damage to the property of the owner or occupier as a result of your entry to, or activities on, the land. The security amount and kind would be specified by the Department Head under section 26AU of the Act.


Before entering land to undertake a survey, you must be insured for at least $10 million against any risk that might arise if the owner or occupier of the land were to sustain a personal injury as a result of your entry to, or activities on, the land. Refer to section 26AV of the Act for further information.

For any inquiries regarding these requirements, please contact Earth Resources Regulation Licensing.

Survey standards for licence applications

  1. The boundaries of land proposed to be covered by a retention or mining licence (or prospecting licence, on request by the Department Head) must be surveyed in accordance with section 26AR of the Act and Regulation 24 of the Regulations.
  2. Surveys must be made and tested to the standard of accuracy specified at section 7 of the Surveying (Cadastral Surveys) Regulations 2015.
  3. Surveys for retention and mining licences (and prospecting licences, if requested by the Department Head) located on freehold land, or within 500 metres of freehold land, must be connected to the cadastral boundaries of any land affected by, or within 500 metres of, the licence as the case may be.
  4. Surveys requiring definition of, or connections to, cadastral boundaries should be undertaken by a licensed surveyor and carried out in accordance with the Surveying (Cadastral Surveys) Regulations 2015 prepared under the Surveying Act 2004.
  5. Surveys must be connected to the Map Grid of Australia (MGA94) coordinate system to the relevant standard of accuracy as described at paragraph (2) above.
  6. Surveys must be adequately connected to any permanent marks existing in the vicinity of the licence.
  7. A survey plan of the land covered by the licence must be drawn, and show the following information:
    • Dimensions, area and MGA94 coordinates of the land covered by the licence
    • All cadastral boundaries and connections located inside and/or adjacent to or within the 500 metres of all the land covered by the licence as the case may be
    • Parcel identifiers (e.g. Crown allotment and section numbers, parish, township and municipal names; lot and plan of subdivision numbers; road names, etc)
    • The status of any Crown land (e.g. Government road, National Park, gravel reserve, State Forest etc)
    • Adjoining mining, prospecting or retention licences
    • Permanent marks and connections thereto
    • North point
    • Bar scale and representative ratio
    • Certification by a licensed surveyor where appropriate.
  8. Where cadastral boundaries have been re-established, the surveyor's Abstract of Field notes must accompany the survey plan.

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2021