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OFFSHORE MINERALS ACT 1994


TABLE OF PROVISIONS

           Preamble

            

CHAPTER 1--Introduction
            

   PART 1.1----LEGISLATIVE FORMALITIES AND BACKGROUND

   1.      Short title  
   2.      Commencement  
   3.      Commonwealth-State agreement (the Offshore Constitutional Settlement)  

   PART 1.2----INTERPRETATION

           Division 1--General

   4.      Interpretation  
   5.      Treatment of the Northern Territory  
   6.      Shares in a licence  
   7.      Transfer of a licence  
   8.      Successor licences  
   9.      Notes, diagrams etc. form part of section etc.  
   10.     Position on the Earth's surface  
   11A.    Application of the Criminal Code  
   12.     Power to vary and revoke instruments  

           Division 2--Basic concepts

   13.     Commonwealth-State offshore areas  
   14.     External territory offshore areas  
   15.     Effect of change to, or reassessment of the location of, baseline  
   16.     Coastal waters of a State  
   17.     Blocks  
   18.     Reserved block  
   19.     Standard block  
   20.     Tender block  
   21.     Discrete area  
   22.     Mineral  
   23.     Exploration  
   24.     Recovery  
   25.     Licence holder  
   26.     Associates  
   27.     Confidential information  
   28.     Confidential sample  

   PART 1.3----DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES AND JOINT AUTHORITIES

   29.     Designated Authorities  
   30.     Functions and powers of Designated Authorities  
   31.     Judicial notice of signature of Designated Authority  
   32.     Joint Authorities  
   33.     Functions and powers of Joint Authorities  
   34.     Service of documents on a Joint Authority  

   PART 1.4----APPLICATION OF THIS ACT

   35.     Act does not apply to exploration for or recovery of petroleum  
   36.     Act extends to certain external territories  
   37.     Act applies to all individuals and corporations  
            

CHAPTER 2--Regulation of offshore exploration and mining
            

   PART 2.1----GENERAL

   38.     General prohibition on exploring and mining in offshore areas without appropriate authorisation under this Act  
   39.     Licences and consents available under this Act  
   40.     Steps involved in the grant of a fully effective licence  
   41.     Approval of form and manner of applications etc.  
   42.     Rights to minerals recovered  
   43.     Effect of grant of licence or special purpose consent on native title  
   44.     Licence etc. does not authorise unnecessary interference with other activities in the licence area  

   PART 2.2----EXPLORATION LICENCES

           Division 1--General

   45.     Exploration licences  
   46.     Activities authorised by an exploration licence  
   47.     Joint Authority may cancel or not renew exploration licence without compensation  
   48.     Licence rights may be suspended  
   49.     Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights  

           Division 2--Application for and grant of exploration licence over standard blocks

   50.     Application for exploration licence over standard block  
   51.     Which blocks are excluded?  
   52.     Designated Authority may determine that excluded block is available  
   53.     Designated Authority may allow application for more than one discrete area  
   54.     How to apply  
   55.     Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application  
   56.     Payment of fee  
   57.     Application must be advertised  
   58.     How multiple applications are dealt with  
   59.     Discussions about blocks applied for  
   60.     Advertising revised application  
   61.     Request for further information  
   62.     Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   63.     Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant exploration licence  
   64.     External territory offshore area--how application for exploration licence dealt with  
   65.     Matters to be specified in the licence  
   66.     Applicant must be notified  
   67.     Amendment of conditions  
   68.     Amendment of security requirements  
   69.     Extension of primary payment period  
   70.     Acceptance of grant of exploration licence for standard block  
   71.     Conditions applicable to licence on grant  
   72.     Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence  

           Division 3--Application for and grant of exploration licence over tender block

   73.     Matters to be determined before applications for exploration licence over tender blocks invited  
   74.     Joint Authority may invite applications for exploration licence over tender blocks  
   75.     Tender block licence notice--exploration licence  
   76.     Application for exploration licence over tender blocks  
   77.     How to apply  
   78.     Payment of fee  
   79.     Request for further information  
   80.     Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   81.     Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant tender block exploration licence  
   82.     External territory offshore area--how applications dealt with  
   83.     Successful applicant must be notified  
   84.     Acceptance of grant of exploration licence over tender blocks  
   85.     Conditions applicable to licence on grant  
   86.     Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence  
   87.     Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses  

           Division 4--Duration of exploration licence

   88.     Initial term of exploration licence  
   89.     Term of renewal of exploration licence  
   90.     Effect of suspension of rights on term of exploration licence  
   91.     Effect of application for renewal on term of exploration licence  
   92.     Effect of application for retention licence or mining licence on term of exploration licence  
   93.     Effect of application for extension on term of licence  
   94.     Extension of licence--activities disrupted  
   95.     Grant of licence extension--activities disrupted  
   96.     Extension of licence--other circumstances  
   97.     Grant of licence extension--other circumstances  
   98.     Notification of decision  

           Division 5--Voluntary surrender of part of exploration licence area

   99.     Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains  
   100.    Voluntary surrender of blocks if up to 3 discrete areas remain  

           Division 6--Application for and grant of renewal of exploration licence

   101.    Application for renewal of exploration licence  
   102.    When must an application to renew be made?  
   103.    How to apply for renewal  
   104.    Mandatory reduction of licence area on renewal of exploration licence  
   105.    Request for further information  
   106.    Payment of fee  
   107.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer renewal application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   108.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--provisional renewal of an exploration licence  
   109.    External territory offshore area--how application for renewal dealt with  
   110.    Applicant must be notified  
   111.    Amendment of conditions  
   112.    Amendment of security requirements  
   113.    Extension of primary payment period  
   114.    Acceptance of renewal of exploration licence  
   115.    Conditions applicable to licence on renewal  
   116.    Lapse of provisional renewal of exploration licence  

           Division 7--Obligations associated with exploration licence

   117.    General  
   118.    Conditions of exploration licence  
   119.    No conditions requiring payment of money  
   120.    Variation of conditions  
   121.    Exemption from or suspension of conditions  
   122.    Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended  
   123.    Work practices  
   124.    Licence holder must keep specified records etc.  
   125.    Licence holder must assist inspectors  

           Division 8--Expiry of exploration licence

   126.    General  
   127.    Voluntary surrender of exploration licence  
   128.    Automatic expiry of exploration licence when retention licence takes effect  
   129.    Automatic expiry of exploration licence when mining licence takes effect  
   130.    Cancellation of exploration licence  
   131.    Obligations of former exploration licence holders and former associates  

   PART 2.3----RETENTION LICENCES

           Division 1--General

   132.    Retention licences  
   133.    Activities authorised by a retention licence  
   134.    Joint Authority may cancel or not renew retention licence without compensation  
   135.    Licence rights may be suspended  
   136.    Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights  

           Division 2--Application for and grant of retention licence

   137.    Application for retention licence  
   138.    How to apply  
   139.    Payment of fee  
   140.    Application must be advertised  
   141.    Request for further information  
   142.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   143.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant retention licence  
   144.    External territory offshore area--how application for retention licence dealt with  
   145.    Grounds for granting retention licence  
   146.    Matters to be specified in the licence  
   147.    Applicant must be notified  
   148.    Amendment of conditions  
   149.    Amendment of security requirements  
   150.    Extension of primary payment period  
   151.    Acceptance of grant of retention licence  
   152.    Conditions applicable to licence on grant  
   153.    Lapse of provisional grant of retention licence  

           Division 3--Duration of retention licence

   154.    Initial term of retention licence  
   155.    Term of renewal of licence  
   156.    Effect of application for renewal on term of retention licence  
   157.    Effect of application for mining licence on term of retention licence  

           Division 4--Voluntary surrender of part of retention licence area

   158.    Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains  

           Division 5--Application for and grant of renewal of retention licence

   159.    Application for renewal of retention licence  
   160.    When must an application to renew be made?  
   161.    How to apply for renewal  
   162.    Request for further information  
   163.    Payment of fee  
   164.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer renewal application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   165.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--provisional renewal of retention licence  
   166.    External territory offshore area--how application for renewal dealt with  
   167.    Matters to be taken into account in deciding whether to renew retention licence  
   168.    Refusal of application for renewal  
   169.    Applicant must be notified  
   170.    Amendment of conditions  
   171.    Amendment of security requirements  
   172.    Extension of primary payment period  
   173.    Acceptance of renewal of retention licence  
   174.    Conditions applicable to licence on renewal  
   175.    Lapse of provisional renewal of retention licence  

           Division 6--Obligations associated with retention licence

   176.    General  
   177.    Conditions of retention licence  
   178.    No conditions requiring payment of money  
   179.    Variation of conditions  
   180.    Exemption from or suspension of conditions  
   181.    Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended  
   182.    Significant changes in circumstances to be reported to Designated Authority  
   183.    Work practices  
   184.    Licence holder must keep specified records etc.  
   185.    Licence holder must assist inspectors  

           Division 7--Expiry of retention licence

   186.    General  
   187.    Voluntary surrender of retention licence  
   188.    Automatic expiry of retention licence when mining licence takes effect  
   189.    Cancellation of retention licence--breach of condition etc.  
   190.    Cancellation of retention licence--mining activities viable  
   191.    Obligations of former retention licence holders and former associates  

   PART 2.4----MINING LICENCES

           Division 1--General

   192.    Mining licences  
   193.    Activities authorised by a mining licence  
   194.    Joint Authority may cancel or not renew mining licence without compensation  
   195.    Licence rights may be suspended  
   196.    Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights  

           Division 2--Application for and grant of mining licence over standard blocks

   197.    Application for mining licence over vacant standard block  
   198.    Holder of exploration licence or retention licence may apply for mining licence  
   199.    How to apply  
   200.    Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application  
   201.    Payment of fee  
   202.    Application must be advertised  
   203.    How multiple applications are dealt with  
   204.    Request for further information  
   205.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   206.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant mining licence  
   207.    External territory offshore area--how application for mining licence dealt with  
   208.    Refusal of application for mining licence made under section 198  
   209.    Matters to be specified in the licence  
   210.    Applicant must be notified  
   211.    Amendment of conditions  
   212.    Amendment of security requirements  
   213.    Extension of primary payment period  
   214.    Acceptance of grant of mining licence for standard block  
   215.    Conditions applicable to licence on grant  
   216.    Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence  

           Division 3--Application for and grant of mining licence over tender block

   217.    Matters to be determined before applications for mining licence over tender blocks invited  
   218.    Joint Authority may invite applications for mining licence over tender blocks  
   219.    Tender block licence notice--mining licence  
   220.    Application for mining licence over tender blocks  
   221.    How to apply  
   222.    Payment of fee  
   223.    Request for further information  
   224.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   225.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant tender block mining licence  
   226.    External territory offshore area--how applications dealt with  
   227.    Successful applicant must be notified  
   228.    Acceptance of grant of mining licence over tender blocks  
   229.    Conditions applicable to licence on grant  
   230.    Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence  
   231.    Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses  

           Division 4--Duration of mining licence

   232.    Initial term of mining licence  
   233.    Term of renewal of licence  
   234.    Effect of application for renewal on term of mining licence  

           Division 5--Voluntary surrender of part of mining licence area

   235.    Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains  

           Division 6--Application for and grant of renewal of mining licence

   236.    Application for renewal of mining licence  
   237.    When must an application to renew be made?  
   238.    How to apply for renewal  
   239.    Request for further information  
   240.    Payment of fee  
   241.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer renewal application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   242.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--provisional renewal of mining licence  
   243.    External territory offshore area--how application for renewal dealt with  
   244.    Matters to be taken into account in deciding whether to renew mining licence  
   245.    Refusal of application for renewal  
   246.    Applicant must be notified  
   247.    Amendment of conditions  
   248.    Amendment of security requirements  
   249.    Extension of primary payment period  
   250.    Acceptance of renewal of mining licence  
   251.    Conditions applicable to licence on renewal  
   252.    Lapse of provisional renewal of mining licence  

           Division 7--Obligations associated with mining licence

   253.    General  
   254.    Conditions of mining licence  
   255.    No conditions requiring payment of money  
   256.    Variation of conditions  
   257.    Exemption from or suspension of conditions  
   258.    Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended  
   259.    Work practices  
   260.    Licence holder must comply with Royalty Act  
   261.    Licence holder must keep specified records  
   262.    Licence holder must assist inspectors  

           Division 8--Expiry of mining licence

   263.    General  
   264.    Voluntary surrender of mining licence  
   265.    Cancellation of mining licence  
   266.    Obligations of former mining licence holders and former associates  

   PART 2.5----WORKS LICENCES

           Division 1--General

   267.    Works licences  
   268.    Activities authorised by a works licence  
   269.    Joint Authority may cancel or not renew works licence without compensation  

           Division 2--Application for and grant of works licence

   270.    Application for works licence  
   271.    How to apply  
   272.    Payment of fee  
   273.    Applicant to notify licence holders affected by the application  
   274.    Application must be advertised  
   275.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   276.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may provisionally grant works licence  
   277.    External territory offshore area--how application for works licence dealt with  
   278.    Matters to be specified in the licence  
   279.    Applicant must be notified  
   280.    Amendment of conditions  
   281.    Amendment of security requirements  
   282.    Extension of primary payment period  
   283.    Acceptance of grant of works licence  
   284.    Conditions applicable to works licence on grant  
   285.    Lapse of provisional grant of works licence  

           Division 3--Duration of works licence

   286.    Initial term of works licence  
   287.    Term of renewal of works licence  
   288.    Effect of application for renewal on term of works licence  

           Division 4--Application for and grant of renewal of works licence

   289.    Application for renewal of works licence  
   290.    When must an application to renew be made?  
   291.    How to apply for renewal  
   292.    Payment of fee  
   293.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer renewal application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   294.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--provisional renewal of works licence  
   295.    External territory offshore area--how application for renewal dealt with  
   296.    Applicant must be notified  
   297.    Amendment of conditions  
   298.    Amendment of security requirements  
   299.    Extension of primary payment period  
   300.    Acceptance of renewal of works licence  
   301.    Conditions applicable to works licence on renewal  
   302.    Lapse of provisional renewal of works licence  

           Division 5--Obligations associated with works licence

   303.    General  
   304.    Conditions of works licence  
   305.    No conditions requiring payment of money  
   306.    Variation of conditions  
   307.    Exemption from or suspension of conditions  
   308.    Work practices  
   309.    Licence holder must keep specified records etc.  
   310.    Licence holder must assist inspectors  

           Division 6--Expiry of works licence

   311.    General  
   312.    Voluntary surrender of works licence  
   313.    Cancellation of works licence  
   314.    Obligations of former works licence holders and former associates  

   PART 2.6----SPECIAL PURPOSE CONSENTS

   315.    Special purpose consents  
   316.    Activities authorised by a special purpose consent  
   317.    Application for a consent  
   318.    How to apply  
   319.    Payment of fee  
   320.    Applicant must obtain agreement of exploration, retention and mining licence holders affected by the application  
   321.    Applicant to notify works licence holders affected by the application  
   322.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Designated Authority must refer application to Joint Authority if certain requirements met  
   323.    Commonwealth-State offshore area--Joint Authority may grant special purpose consent  
   324.    External territory offshore area--how application for special purpose consent dealt with  
   325.    Matters to be specified in the consent  
   326.    Duration of consent  
   327.    Conditions of consent  
            

CHAPTER 3--Registration and dealings
            

   PART 3.1----REGISTRATION

           Division 1--Preliminary

   328.    Registers to be kept  
   329.    Associated document files to be kept  
   330.    Form of register and document file  
   331.    Correction of errors in the register  
   332.    Inspection of register and documents  

           Division 2--Matters to be entered in register

              Subdivision A--Licences

   333.    Licences  
   334.    Renewal of licences  
   335.    Extension of exploration licences  
   336.    Expiry of licences  
   337.    Variations etc. to licences  
   338.    Transfer of licences  
   339.    Other dealings in licences  
   340.    Devolution of licences  

              Subdivision B--Caveats

   341.    Effect of a caveat  
   342.    Lodgment of caveats  
   343.    Form of caveat  
   344.    Payment of fee  
   345.    Caveat to be registered  
   346.    Withdrawal of caveat  
   347.    Form of withdrawal  
   348.    Duration of caveat  
   349.    Notice to caveat holder  
   350.    Caveat holder may consent to approval or registration  
   351.    Orders that can be made by a court in relation to caveats  

           Division 3--Miscellaneous

   352.    Fees for registration  
   353.    Protection from legal actions  
   354.    Appeals  
   355.    Appeals against determinations under section 352  
   356.    Supreme Court  
   357.    Evidentiary value of register  
   358.    Certified copy of document on associated document file  
   359.    Certification of registration action  

   PART 3.2----DEALINGS IN REGISTERED LICENCES

           Division 1--Dealings in licences to be in writing and registered

   360.    Dealings in licences to be in writing  
   361.    Dealings in interests in licences not effective until registered  

           Division 2--Approval of transfer of licences

   362.    Transfers require approval by Joint Authority  
   363.    Application for approval of transfer  
   364.    Designated Authority may ask for further information  
   365.    Joint Authority's response to application for approval  
   366.    Protection from legal actions  
            

CHAPTER 4--Administration
            

   PART 4.1----INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

   367.    Designated Authority may ask person for information  
   368.    Power to ask person to appear  
   369.    Power to examine on oath or affirmation  
   370.    Designated Authority may ask for documents  
   371.    Designated Authority may ask for samples  
   372.    Obligation to comply with request under section 367, 368, 370 or 371  
   373.    Immunity from use of information etc. given in response to request under section 367, 368, 370 or 371  
   374.    Restrictions on release of confidential material  
   375.    Circumstances in which confidential material may be released  
   376.    Certain reports to be made available  

   PART 4.2----MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT

           Division 1--Inspections

   377.    Compliance inspections  
   378.    Powers exercisable in course of inspection  
   379.    Inspection of licence-related premises etc. without warrant  
   380.    Inspection of other premises etc. with occupier's consent  
   381.    Inspection of other premises etc. with warrant  
   382.    Procedure for obtaining warrant  
   383.    Warrant authorises reasonable assistance and force  
   384.    Occupier to cooperate with inspector  

           Division 2--Directions

   385.    Directions by Designated Authority must be obeyed  
   386.    Scope of compliance directions  
   387.    Designated Authority may give directions  
   388.    Direction may incorporate material in another document  
   389.    Direction may impose absolute prohibition  
   390.    Compliance direction may extend to associates  
   391.    Holder to give notice of direction to associates  
   392.    Power to give directions after licence etc. ends  
   393.    Effect of a compliance direction on other instruments  
   394.    Designated Authority may specify time for compliance  
   395.    Designated Authority may take action if holder fails to comply  
   396.    Costs incurred by Designated Authority in taking action under section 395  
   397.    Defences to actions to recover debts  

           Division 3--Securities

   398.    Securities  
   399.    Determination of requirement to lodge security  
   400.    Application of security  

           Division 4--Restoration of environment

   401.    Removal of property from offshore area  
   402.    Rehabilitation of damaged areas  

           Division 5--Safety zones

   403.    Declaration of safety zone around a structure or equipment  
   404.    Effect of declaration of safety zone  

           Division 6--Offences

   405.    General regime for criminal offences  

   PART 4.3----REVIEW OF DECISIONS MADE ABOUT THE OFFSHORE AREAS OF EXTERNAL TERRITORIES

   406.    Definitions  
   407.    Review of delegated decisions  

   PART 4.4----PROCEDURES OF JOINT AUTHORITIES AND DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES

   408.    Procedure of Joint Authority  
   409.    Decision-making  
   410.    Opinion or state of mind of Joint Authority  
   411.    Records of proceedings of Joint Authority  
   412.    Signing of documents  
   413.    Communications with Joint Authority  
   414.    Ministerial colleague acting on behalf of responsible Commonwealth Minister  
   415.    Acting responsible Commonwealth Minister  
   416.    Circumstances in which confidential material released  
   417.    Execution and issue of documents on behalf of Joint Authority  
   418.    Service of notices on behalf of Joint Authority  
   419.    Delegation by Designated Authority  
   420.    Application of this Part to external territories  

   PART 4.5----INSPECTORS

   421.    Appointment of inspectors  
   422.    Identity cards  
   423.    Return of identity card  

   PART 4.6----FINANCE

   424.    Fees received on behalf of the Commonwealth  
   425.    Payments by the Commonwealth to the States--Royalty Act payments  
   426.    Payments by the Commonwealth to the States--other payments  
   427.    Appropriation  
            

CHAPTER 5--Miscellaneous
            

   PART 5.1----APPLICATION OF LAWS

   428.    State's or external territory's offshore laws apply to mineral exploration and recovery in offshore area  
   429.    Criminal laws not applied  
   430.    Laws inconsistent with Commonwealth laws not applied  
   431.    Tax laws not applied  
   432.    Applied laws not to confer Commonwealth judicial power  
   433.    Applied laws not to contravene constitutional restrictions on conferring powers on courts  
   434.    Applied laws not to appropriate Territory Consolidated Revenue Fund  
   435.    Jurisdiction of State courts  
   436.    Jurisdiction of Territory courts  
   437.    Validation of certain actions  

   PART 5.2----MISCELLANEOUS

   438.    Service of documents on licence holders etc.  
   439.    Vesting jurisdiction in State courts  
   439A.   Licences, and interests in licences etc., are not personal property for the purposes of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009  
   440.    Regulations  
           SCHEDULE 1 Savings and transitional provisions


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