Northern Territory Government

Fossicking in the Northern Territory

Illegal Fossicking – Mount Bonnie Mineral Leases

05 Jul 2022

On Monday 4 July 2022 the department received a report from the holder of the Mount Bonnie mineral leases, advising they had noticed illegal excavation and removal of material from Mineral Lease Northern 1033.

The excavation and removal of material occurred between site visits on Thursday 23 June 2022 and Thursday 30 June.

Under the Mineral Titles Act 2010 (MTA), if you are intending to fossick on a granted mineral lease you must first obtain the written consent of the titleholder (1).

This mineral lease is located within Douglas Station, requiring a further notice of intention to commence fossicking activities be given to the landowner (2).

A fossicker is not permitted to use an excavator, only hand held implements. The use of an excavator is deemed to be conducting activities without a mineral title under section 148 of the MTA (3).

The penalties that may be imposed for a breach of the three offences above are:

  1. Entering land without prior consent: maximum penalty 80 penalty units = $12,960
  2. Entering land without giving notice – maximum penalty 40 penalty units = $6,480
  3. Conducting activities without mineral title – maximum penalty 5,000 penalty units = $810,000

To avoid the risk of prosecution, please ensure you abide by the fossicking provisions and you have the relevant documents outlined at Regulation 108 of the Mineral Titles Regulations on your person, at all times.

If you aware of any person that is not following the rules please let the department know at

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