Land access

Land access is one of the biggest challenges facing South Australian minerals explorers and developers. Access to agricultural land, native title, and accessing parts of the Woomera Prohibited Area are current issues for the sector. 

land access farming

Read about Native Title in South Australia.

Access to farming land

SACOME and the resources industry are recognising and responding to the growing expectation from community, regulators and industry leaders for more open engagement with the public. In our role as advocate for the South Australian resources industry, SACOME is taking a lead to optimise relationships between the sector and landholders.

Read about our community engagement activities.

Landholder Rights revised August 2011

The South Australian government released revised guidelines for landowner rights and access arrangements in relation to mineral exploration and mining in South Australia. The revised MG4 Guidelines provide information for landowners and explorers, and also include relevant content and guidelines from the former MG7 Guidelines for mineral explorers: Landholder liaison in South Australia.

The State government has also revised the following forms:

Notice of Entry on Land - Advise an owner of land of an intention to enter their land, under section 58A of the Act

Notice of Use of Declared Equipment - Advise an owner of land of an intention to use specific equipment on their land

Waiver of Exemption -

  • 23A - Request that an owner of land that is 'exempt land' enter into an agreement with a mining operator to allow exploration and/or mining operations on the land

  • 23B - Enter into an agreement with an owner of exempt land to allow exploration and/or mining operations on the land, following service of Form 23A to request the agreement

Woomera Prohibited Area

The Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) is highly prospective for the resources sector and SACOME is keen to ensure that access and co-existence for exploration and mining activities are optimised for the State of South Australia.

Over the past four years a review of the WPA has been undertaken by the Federal Government examining the future of the area with a view to maximising its value to the nation for Defence and economic development for the next 20 - 30 years. In May 2011 the final report was released.

The review recommended the introduction of a permit system breaking the WPA into three zones according to defence use – a no go area, an area where non defence users can be excluded for 20 weeks, and a third zone where non defence users can be excluded for up to eight weeks a year with six months notice. SACOME and members generally welcomed the report, with the Federal Government clearly accepting the need for adjustments to the former regulations which prohibited much of the highly prospective land to exploration and/or mining. The WPA is a large area - the size of England - and contains an estimated trillion dollars worth of minerals.

SACOME entered a submission to the Department of Defence regarding the Woomera Prohibited Area Draft Deed of Access for Minerals Exploration in June 2012 and has consulted on the deed and provided a number of submissions over the last few years.

Any company wishing to access the WPA must obtain a Resource Exploration Permit. Individuals seeking access to the WPA as employees of or on behalf of resource exploration or production companies, must obtain permission through the Approved Person Application and Escorted Person Notification process. Further details of the current permitting system can be found on the Woomera Prohibited Area Co-ordination Office website.