Project development

Before exploration can start, operators need approvals from relevant government departments, beginning with applications for exploration permits. To receive such permits, project proponents must set out an exploration work program and show they have the technical and financial capacity to complete this program. Environment, cultural and heritage issues must also be considered. Once a permit is granted, operators must seek approval to undertake any exploration activity.

Key requirements include the development and approval of:

  • Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage agreements
  • a detailed drilling application
  • an environmental management plan and
  • a safety management plan.

Government departments use these plans as the basis for determining whether any additional conditions are required.

The company will also consult with landholders and negotiate an agreement around access and fair compensation for any inconvenience or damage.

The establishment of new projects is typically a five-stage process, over several years:

  • Identification
  • Evaluation
  • Proof of concept
  • Pilot testing
  • Field development