Northern Territory Government

Fossicking in the Northern Territory

Pastoral land

Intending to fossick on a pastoral lease?

It is important to remember that pastoralists and fossickers both have rights to undertake their respective activities; however it is not the intention of the Mineral Titles Act that the activities of fossickers should cause disruption to ongoing pastoral activities.

While the Mineral Titles Act requires that you provide a pastoralist with a minimum of 7 days’ notice (fossicking notice) before you enter their land to commence fossicking, it is important to note that due to the size and remoteness of some pastoral properties in the Territory, mail may only be received on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

There may be instances where pastoral activities, such as mustering or feral animal control, are taking place in the area where you would like to fossick.  By providing the pastoralist with sufficient notice, the pastoralist will then have an opportunity to consider your proposal and advise you if your activities are likely to conflict with planned pastoral activities. They may direct you to another area for your own safety, thus preventing you travelling unnecessary distances, only to end up disappointed or frustrated.

As well as providing the pastoralist with notice of your intention to fossick on their pastoral lease, it is important for your own safety that you report to the homestead when you arrive and again when you leave the property.

Even though fossicking can be undertaken on pastoral leases, the pastoralist has the right to set conditions that you must abide by while on their land. These conditions can relate to such things as where you can camp, access routes and how long you may remain on their property. By ensuring that the pastoralist receives your notification before you arrive at the property and by touching base with the pastoralist upon arrival, you can be made aware of any of these requirements.

In addition to being a legislative requirement, it is a matter of courtesy and safety, that the pastoralist receives your notification and is aware of your intending visit.

Please take this into account and plan ahead, providing as much notice as possible.