Prospecting Australia

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Jan 27, 2015
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Central West NSW
Please note in most cases both fossicking and prospecting are covered under the same legislations / regulations.

New South Wales
Fossicking in NSW:
In NSW Private Landholders are indemnified from any action, liability, claim or demand arising from the use of their land by fossickers in most circumstances:
Landholders are indemnified under section 383C of the Mining Act 1992 from any action, liability, claim or demand arising from the use of their land by fossickers in most circumstances. The indemnity does not apply where the landholder has been reckless or has intended to cause harm.

A license to fossick in NSW is not required. For NSW State Forests and NSW Crown Land permits are required.
You can obtain a State Forest Fossicking Permit online or by contacting your nearest Forestry office, the cost of the permit is $27.50 which covers all NSW State Forests unless otherwise stated.
You can obtain NSW Crown Land permits for free by contacting NSW Crown Lands. To apply you will need the locality/s, lot number/s and DP number/s of the block/s of interest. They will then determine if the land is available for fossicking or not and issue permits where applicable. You need to allow for at least a week to go through the process but once granted the permit/s run for 12 months.

General enquiries​

Phone: 1300 886 235 (Australia wide)
Phone: +61 2 9842 8200 (International)
Fax: 02 4925 3517
[email protected]

In general prospecting, fossicking and metal detecting is not allowed in NSW National Park areas including State Conservation Areas, Nature Reserves etc. Further information here:


A license is required to fossick QLD - You can obtain a Fossicking License either Online or by contacting your nearest District and regional office - A Queensland Fossicking License can be purchased to cover a period of 1 month, 6 months or 1 year with the cost ranging from around $8.80 to $56.25 for an individual.

Fossicking in Queensland (Queensland Government)
Purchase a Fossicking Permit Online (Queensland Government)


A Miners Right is required for Victoria.

To obtain a Victorian Miners Right - Apply Online. It costs $25.55 for 10 years.
Information from Parks Victoria on fossicking and prospecting in state parks etc.:
Victorian Crown Land Water Frontage
Crown River frontages: A guide to access and recreational use


Western Australia

Prospecting in Western Australia (WA Gevernment / Department of Mines & Petroleum)
Western Australia Miners Rights (WA Gevernment / Department of Mines & Petroleum)
Section 40E permit

South Australia

South Australia Fossicking
Crown Land and Fossicking SA

Northern Territory

Fossicking in Northern Territory (Northern Territory Government)
NT Fossicking Q&A


Tasmanian Prospecting & Fossicking (Mineral Resources Tasmania)
Fossicking Areas in Tasmania (Mineral Resources Tasmania)

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