The grant of an Exploration Licence and negotiation of an access arrangement are not the only steps towards undertaking exploration in NSW. Depending on the type of exploration activity, it may be necessary to obtain a number of additional approvals. One of the most common is an Activity Approval, or approval to undertake assessable prospecting operations.
The term assessable prospecting operations includes anything that is not exempt development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). This often includes prospecting operations such as exploration drilling, clearing for access tracks and any other activities that might involve surface disturbance.
Prior to lodging an activity approval, an explorer should consider the following:
An activity approval will normally be granted subject to conditions, which the explorer must become familiar with and build into any compliance systems. There is also often other documentation required to be submitted prior to commencing any operations under an activity approval. Compliance with other mandatory requirements, including under Codes of Practice is critical to maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders and ensuring operations are ecologically sustainable.
Hetherington provides a suite of environmental management services closely integrated with our tenement management services that will ensure all stages of an activity approval comply with regulatory requirements.