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Mining exploration licence - update

23 July 2012

The Mt. Spring Association Inc. is continuing in its endeavours to make a stand against the current mining exploration application affecting our area. Some important and useful information about the matter is summarised here.

An Australian company with Chinese interests (CGNM Resources Pty Ltd – ACN 139 443 137) has made application for a Mineral Exploration Licence over the local region (No 4567 submitted 1 May 2012) with a stated interest in the search for gold and copper.

The exploration area of 200 square kilometres in NSW wraps around the northern border of ACT and includes Spring Range, Nanima Road and Murrumbateman Road and extends across the Federal Highway to within 23 kilometres of Queanbeyan. A map of the relevant area can be downloaded here. Note that there are other active exploration licenses in existence in the Yass region.

This notice is provided by the Mt Spring Association to alert local residents to their rights as landholders in the unlikely event that you are approached by a prospector to enter your land. As extracted from the Mining Act 1992 (NSW), your rights can be summarised as follows:

• The prospector can only access a property with the landholder's approval
• The prospector is required to agree in writing to an Access Arrangement with the landholder
• The landholder can negotiate and vary the Access Arrangements, seek compensation, dispute an Access Arrangement and have your legal fees paid
• The landholder can force works on your property to cease if an Access Arrangement is contravened
• The prospector is not permitted to work within 200 metres of buildings / dwellings or within 50 metres of gardens or on areas of significant improvement
• There are regulations that define Rights of Way on your property
• There are procedures that allow disputes to be resolved

Landholders can and probably should refuse access in the first instance and make it as difficult as possible without breaking the law or incurring legal fees as this will in all likelihood not change the outcome. In the first instance the prospector's search will probably be restricted to the taking of samples and surface observations and testing and would only extend to expensive drilling if there was some reasonable prospect for success.

There are nearly 1100 mineral exploration licenses in NSW and whilst it is expected that small traces of gold and copper will be detected in the local area, the chances that the mineral deposits will be economically viable to mine are statistically very small. Note that the desire to explore is motivated by commodity prices for gold and copper that are historically very high.

If you would like to learn more about this issue, have a story to share or wish to keep informed of developments, please contact the Mt Spring Association at:

Phil Peelgrane (6230 2226), ;
Geoff Gorrie (0419 628 873), ;
Neil Parker (0413 700 656),

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