Northern Territory Government

Fossicking in the Northern Territory

Kurundi Station visit

09 Oct 2019

In July 2019 an Authorised Officer from the Mineral Titles Branch spent 10 days camping on Kurundi Station near the Kurinelli Gold Field area.

The purpose of the visit was to work with the station owners to work through any issues they may have relating to fossicking and also to help educate fossickers on the legislative requirements for fossicking in the Northern Territory.

During the visit several groups of fossickers, who had travelled from Victoria and Queensland, were observed camping and detecting on the station. It was reported that small amounts of gold had been found, with one experienced detectorist taking 20 days to gather an ounce of small nuggets in total. Other groups were not so lucky!

Although many fossickers are happy to follow the rules it is disappointing to see that others continue to ignore them and not do the right thing by the station owners or other mineral title owners, in particular:

  • Not being in areas that they were requested to fossick or camp. Reg. 110 MTR
    • As Kurundi is a working station and there is mustering of cattle between feed and holding paddocks, not knowing where people are camped or fossicking is dangerous, as mustering involves both land and air coordination in very dusty and noisy environments. If workers are unaware of people cattle could unintentionally be driven towards them. If this happens, it is very hard to stop a mob.
    • Not knowing where people are can put their lives in danger, particularly if there is a fire.
    • There are certain areas where no vehicle traffic is wanted due to stock management practices.
  • The clearing of spinifex and stock feed so that metal detecting was easy. Station owners request that this practise is discontinued.
    • Spinifex, although painful to walk through, serves a purpose in preventing soil erosion, and also provides a wind break for grass seeds to lodge up against to germinate. By non-selective clearing stock feed is also destroyed.
    • Pushing spinifex and grass into large windrows causes an extra fire danger, by burning hotter and causing any seeds to be destroyed. This causes (when burnt) large areas of barren land and leads to erosion by both wind and rain.
  • Metal detecting outside of the reserved land on granted mineral titles.
    • Owners of mineral titles must be notified by way of a “Fossicking Notice” for an Exploration Licence (EL) or a “Fossicking Request” for Mineral Leases (ML), Extractive Mineral Permit (EMP), or an Extractive Mineral Lease (EML) even if there is no active mining related work happening.
    • The areas surrounding the Reserved Land area (RL24924) on Kurundi have granted EL’s and ML’s. If you are unsure of what the notification requirements are please contact Mineral Titles on 8999 5322

Fossickers are also reminded that fossicking in National Parks requires the permission (Fossicking Request) of Parks NT

The Mineral Titles branch will continue to visit the area.

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