Apply for a retention licence

A retention licence is an optional licence between the exploration and mining stages. It gives the licensee (licence holder) tenure over the land before progressing to a mining licence.

You'll need to comply with an agreed work program that develops the resource towards mining. The maximum licence term for a retention licence is 10 years. A retention licence may be renewed.

If you're applying for a retention licence, you need to include the following information:

  1. A map showing the licence area, including private land and Crown land (scale 1:25,000).
  2. A mineralisation report prepared by a competent person (defined in the Act).
  3. A survey of the land applied for.
  4. Details of the work program for each year of the licence.

Detailed information on what you need to include in your application is available in the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019:

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The  Earth Resources Regulator (ERR) regulates minerals exploration in Victoria. ERR’s licence application process is outlined below.

  1. Applicant submits the application including all compulsory information and pays the fee.
  2. Applicant supplies extra information if requested.
  3. ERR (Environmental Regulation and Resources) accepts and ranks application and advises the applicant.
  4. Applicant advertises licence application in local and statewide papers within 14 days of application acceptance.
  5. Objections or comments may be lodged within 21 days of the latest advertisement.
  6. Address any Native Title requirements*.
  7. ERR assesses application, objections, and comments. Applicant may be asked for additional information.
  8. ERR makes a recommendation to grant or refuse the licence.
  9. Minister (or delegate) grants or refuses the licence.
  10. Licence grant or refusal is registered.
  11. Applicant and objectors advised of licence grant or refusal.

* If the application includes Crown land, you may need to settle an Indigenous Land Use Agreement or Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (TOSA) Land Use Agreement.

View our step-by-step guide to completing the mining licence application form.

Before work can start you will need to:

  • have an approved work plan for mining or if defined as low risk activities operate under the code of practice for low risk mines - for more information, please contact the assessments team
  • provide seven days' notice to the Chief Inspector and owner/occupier of land
  • provide a rehabilitation bond
  • obtain the necessary consents
    • Ministerial consent if exploring or mining on restricted Crown land
    • that the exploration work is low impact exploration
  • obtain public liability insurance
  • obtain owner/occupier consent.

Submit your application online

You can submit and manage most minerals licence or work authority applications and variations online using our  Resources Rights Allocation and Management (RRAM) portal.

Login to RRAM

If you are unsure of your RRAM login details, contact RRAM support.

If you are unable to access RRAM you can download the relevant form from the licence forms page.

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024