NSW Land and Environment Court Declines Property Owners’ Right to Exclude Licenced Prospectors

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NSW Land and Environment Court Declines Property Owners’ Right to Exclude Licenced Prospectors

Martin & Ors v Hume Coal Pty Ltd [2015] NSWLEC 1461 (13 November 2015)

The respondent was seeking to exercise their rights under their prospecting licence to carry out exploration across the applicants’ properties. The appeal turned on the application of the definition of ‘rights conferred by the licence’ in s 31(1) of the Mining Act 1992 (NSW). The applicant argued the phrase effectively restricts prospecting companies’ from access surface land should a property be found to meet the definition under the s 31(1). On appeal to the Land and Environment Court, the appeal was dismissed, with the Court finding the applicant’s interpretation of s 31(1) was far too broad. Rather, the Court found the purpose behind s 31 was to promote the purposes of the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) rather than hinder exploratory capabilities of prospectors.

 

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