NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Mining and resources

The NSW Government has introduced a range of measures designed to deliver greater protection to homes and agricultural land from the impacts of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) activity.

The state policy that governs how mining, petroleum production and extractive material resource proposals are assessed and developed in NSW is Chapter 2 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Resources and Energy) 2021. This SEPP includes the former State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (Mining SEPP).

The Resources and Energy SEPP aims to manage and sustainably develop these resources for the social and economic benefit of the community.

Mining prohibitions

Dartbrook open cut mining prohibition

Amendments to the Energy and Resources SEPP were made on 28 October 2022 to prohibit open cut mining at the Dartbrook Mine located in the Upper Hunter.

Rocky Hill Coal site open cut mining prohibition

Amendments to the Mining SEPP commenced on 26 June 2020 to:

Jerrys Plains (Drayton South) open cut mining prohibition

Amendments to the Mining SEPP were made on 22 December 2017 to prohibit open cut mining on the Drayton South exploration licence near Jerrys Plains in the Upper Hunter.

Petroleum prohibitions

Amendments to the Mining SEPP were made on 17 September 2021 to prohibit petroleum exploration, petroleum production and petroleum related works within 16 local government areas in the Central West and Orana, New England North West, and Hunter regions. The changes do not apply to areas that could support future extensions to the Narrabri Gas Project.

The new rules are in line with the NSW Government’s Future of Gas Statement and the decision to reduce the areas where gas exploration is allowed.

Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy

The Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy (VLAMP) (PDF, 1 MB) describes the NSW Government’s policy for the management of noise and dust (particulate matter) impacts from state significant mining, petroleum and extractive industry developments.

Part 2.18 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Resources and Energy) 2021 requires consent authorities to consider any applicable provisions of the VLAMP before determining an application for consent for state significant development for the purposes of mining, petroleum production or extractive industry.

The VLAMP was revised to ensure the thresholds for the grant of voluntary acquisition and mitigation rights are consistent with the EPA’s policies.

Preliminary Regional Issues Assessment for Potential Coal and Petroleum Exploration Release Areas (PRIA)

The PRIA is part of the government’s broader Strategic Release Framework that allows for the controlled, strategic release and competitive allocation of coal and petroleum (CSG) prospecting titles in NSW.

View the Coal and petroleum exploration assessment for more information.

Extraction Plan Guideline

The Extraction Plan Guideline provides guidance to industry, regulators and the community on the preparation of standardised extraction plans for underground mining in NSW.

State significant mining development consents granted under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 generally require extraction plans to be prepared and approved prior to the commencement of underground mining activities in areas already approved for mining.

The Extraction Plan Guideline is part of the NSW Government’s broader Mining in the Catchment Action Plan, which includes an aim to improve the quality of reports submitted to the department by mining companies.

View the guideline

Amendment of the former Mining SEPP (2015)

On 31 August 2015 the Planning Minister announced changes to the state’s mining policy to provide a more balanced framework for decision making.

These changes came into effect 2 September 2015.

Independent Panel for Mining in the Catchment

In February 2018, the NSW Government established the Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment to provide expert advice to the department on the impact of mining activities in the Greater Sydney Water Catchment Special Areas, with a particular focus on the risks to the quantity of water in the Catchment.

The Panel submitted its final report in October 2019. Following the NSW Government’s adoption of all the panel’s 50 recommendations, the department has established a new panel to provide government with access to independent expert advice.

Read more about the Independent Expert Panel for Mining in the Catchment.

Resources Advisory Forum

The Resources Advisory Forum was established to provide advice to the department on a range of complex, state-wide issues relating to resource assessments in NSW.

The inaugural meeting was held on 28 October 2015, bringing together expert environment and community groups with industry, academia and local government to discuss issues around resource planning and assessment in NSW.

Resources Advisory Forum documents


More information

For more information, contact the department on 1300 420 596 or email your enquiry to information@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 08/02/2023