Northern Territory Government

Fossicking in the Northern Territory

Land access

Land tenure Notificiation
(fossicking notice)
Consent
(fossicking request)

Declared Fossicking Area

Nil required

Nil required

Vacant Crown Land

Nil required

Nil required

Pastoral Land
(i.e. Pastoral Lease or Perpetual pastoral lease)

Pastoral Land if area is being used for pastoral activity or if fossicking is within 2 km of a homestead or
1 km of a stockyard.

7 days Notification required
to landowner or occupier

Not applicable

Nil required

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the landowner/occupier required to obtain written consent.

Granted or application area of an Extractive Mineral Exploration Licence (EMEL)

Nil required

Nil required

Application area of an
Exploration Licence (EL)

Nil required

Nil required

Granted area of an
Exploration Licence (EL)

  • Not Fossicking for gold
  • Fossicking for gold
  • Fossicking for gold on EL area where authorised  activity is being conducted

Nil required

7 days Notification to mineral title holder

Not applicable

Nil Required

Nil Required

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the landowner/occupier required to obtain written consent.

Granted or application areas of;
Mineral Lease (ML)
Extractive Mineral Permit (EMP)
Extractive Mineral Lease (EML)

Not applicable

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the mineral title holder or applicant required to obtain written consent.

Reserved Land (Mineral Titles Act)
if not a declared fossicking area

Not applicable

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to Department of Primary Industry and Resources required to obtain written consent.

Private Land
(i.e. NT Freehold, Crown Lease in Perpetuity, Crown Lease Term, Special Purpose Lease)

Not applicable

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the landowner/occupier required to obtain written consent.

Aboriginal Land or Aboriginal Community living area

Not applicable

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the landowner/occupier required to obtain written consent.

Park or Reserve

Not applicable

14 days Notification (Fossicking Request) to the landowner required
to obtain written consent.

  • Fossicking is a provision of the Mineral Titles Act and Mineral Titles Regulations (regulations) which are administered by the Mineral Titles Division of the Department of Primary Industry and Resources.
  • Before entry onto some land to fossick, a person must give at least 7 days’ written notice
    (a Fossicking Notice) to the landowner or occupiers of the land (regulation 100).
  • In circumstances where written consent is required, a person must give at least 14 days’ written notice (a Fossicking Request) to the landowner,  occupier or mineral title holder of the land seeking consent to fossick (r103).
  • It is important to note that in some circumstances, a Fossicking Notice or Fossicking Request will need to be sent to (and consent obtained from) multiple people such as landowners, occupiers and/or  title holders dependent on the type of land tenure fossicking is intended (section 142). Refer to individual requirements shown in the attached table.
  • A Fossicking Notice or Fossicking Request must include (r100):
    • A statement that the fossicker intends to fossick on the relevant land (for a Notice only)
    • The name and full contact details of the fossicker/s;
    • A description or map of the area where the fossicker intends to fossick on the relevant land, clearly indicating the location;
    • Details of any proposed camping site on the relevant land;
    • A brief description of the nature of fossicking;
    • The equipment to be used for the fossicking;
    • The date of intended entry onto the relevant land to start fossicking (which must be at least 7 days after the date on which the notice is given);
    • An estimate of the duration of the fossicking.

A Fossicking Notice/Request form can be downloaded from the Department of Primary Industry and Resource’s website.

  • The landowners or occupiers have the right to refuse or withdrawal consent if the relevant land is being actively used for pastoral or other authorised activities that the land is intended; or if the fossicker has contravened a requirement of the MTA(r104, r105).
  • Failure to obtain consent for entering onto or remaining on land where consent is required, may incur penalties (r107).