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Leading Practice Mining Acts Review | Central Eyre Iron Project mining lease approved

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All minerals recovered from mineral land in South Australia are subject to the provisions as specified in the Mining Act 1971 and the Mining Regulations 2011.

Important changes to royalty provisions under the Mining Act 1971

TReL Flyer 
Important royalty information, December 2016 (PDF 410 KB)

Extractive mineral royalty rate

Commencing on 1 July 2016 the royalty rate for any producer of extractive minerals will decrease from 55c per tonne to 52c per tonne.

The new rate will cover the full 6 month period ending December 2016.

This change will affect the holders of an extractive minerals lease (EML) and the proprietors or operators of a private mine (PM) where extractive minerals are produced.

Relevant events affecting a private mine

From 19 June 2014 where a relevant event has occurred, royalty will be payable on all minerals recovered from that private mine. A relevant event includes changes to:

  • Proprietor of the private mine
  • The whole or any part of the right to carry out mining operations at the private mine

Where a relevant event has occurred the Minister must be notified within 30 days of that change.

Note that the royalty will be payable on any extractive minerals produced on a Private Mine at the rate of 52c per tonne.

Royalty rate 

Mineral typeApplicable royalty rate
Refined mineral products3.5% of the value of the mineral
Mineral ores and concentrates5% of the value of the mineral
Industrial minerals3.5% of the value of the mineral
Extractive minerals52 cents per tonne (as prescribed in the Mining Regulations)

The South Australian Government Gazette published on 30 June 2011 (PDF 15 KB) provides additional clarification as to declared mineral ores, concentrates, refined mineral products and industrial and construction materials.

The Minister has gazetted provisions specific to the calculation of royalty for the production of salt: The South Australian Government Gazette published on 28 August 2014 (PDF 395 KB)

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Reduced royalty for new mines

Section 17A of the Act provides for a reduction in the rate of royalty where an application has been made and subsequently approved by the Minister. Applications are to be submitted using Form 32 Application: 17A - Reduced royalty for new mines (PDF 120 KB) as prescribed and must include all relevant information to allow for proper assessment.

The declaration of a new mine will, for a period of 5 years (commencing on the date the first royalty is due and payable, and for no longer than a maximum of 10 consecutive 6 month return periods), be subject to a discounted royalty rate of 2.0%.

Note that:

  • Declarations made prior to 1 July 2011 continue to be subject to the reduced rate of 1.5%
  • The reduced royalty rate for new mines is not available for extractive mineral production

Extractive minerals

The Act defines extractive minerals as 'sand, gravel, stone, shell, shale or clay, but does not include:

  • materials that are mined for a prescribed purpose; or
  • fire clay, bentonite or kaolin.

A portion of the extractive royalty collected is allocated to the Extractive Areas Rehabilitation Fund (EARF) for rehabilitation projects on extractive mineral mine sites. Further details on how to apply to the fund are available on the EARF web page.

Part 1 of the Regulations provide guidance as to prescribed purposes for extractive minerals and a definition of dimension stone:

  1. Chemical, cement, lime and glass manufacture
  2. Metallurgical flux, refractories and industrial fillers
  3. Foundries, fertiliser, agricultural, jewellery and crafted ornamental uses
  4. Any purposes connected with the production of dimension stone

Dimension stone means stone that is quarried in regular blocks and cut, trimmed and finished to specific dimensions and shapes and includes cut stone, ashlars, monumental stone, roofing slate and flagging stone.

Any mineral used for a prescribed purpose is subject to the applicable mineral royalty rate.

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Reporting sales values for extractive minerals

While your return is a mechanism for calculating royalty and reporting production, information contained in your returns also provides a valuable snapshot of the extractive industry and its contribution to the state. The data collected is also used to measure the economic value of minerals within South Australia and, in addition, it provides an insight as to the remaining resources available. As such the reporting of production sales values is a vital component of your return.

Accordingly, tenement holders are requested to provide a sales value in their return which appropriately reflects the value of the minerals sold or intended for sale.

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Mining return data and confidentiality

Mining returns are an important part of your obligations as a leaseholder under the Mining Act. The Department of State Development understands that some of the information you are required to provide in your returns may be considered commercially sensitive. As such, all data collected through the submission of returns remains confidential and cannot be released without your permission, or under certain circumstances with the consent of the Minister.

Any publications containing production or sales related data is only provided in a way that maintains confidentiality of that information.

If you would like more information regarding the capture and storage of production and sales data contact the Resource royalty team.

Resource production statistics for six month periods

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Royalty assessment principles

In determining the correct value of the mineral for royalty purposes you must apply the royalty assessment principles as outlined in section 17(5) of the Act. In addition the market value of the minerals must be ascertained through the application of sections 17(6) to 17(8) of the Act.

To assist in the determination of the market value refer to the South Australian Government Gazette notice published on 12 July 2012 (PDF 108 KB)

Where the mineral has not been sold to an arms-length purchaser, section 17(6)(c) applies in the calculation of the value of the mineral. As such the Minister has declared the period to be used is any price corresponding to the relevant 6-month royalty period.

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Prescribed costs (allowable deductions)

Section 17(8) of the Act provides for the exclusion of prescribed costs from the market value of minerals in the calculation of royalty. The Regulations provide further guidance as to the types of costs that may be excluded from the market value of in the value of the mineral. Regulation 8 describes those costs as being:

  • Costs (excluding GST) genuinely incurred in transporting the minerals from the relevant tenement to a point of sale (including, for example, packaging, storage, loading, permit, fees and insurance costs)
  • Costs genuinely incurred in shipping the minerals to a genuine purchaser in a sale at arms-length
  • Any other costs determined by the Minister to be a cost of a prescribed kind for the purposes of that section

Royalty and returns - due date

Reporting periodTReL available for return submissionReturns and royalties due
1 Jan - 30 June mid-June 31 July of that year
1 Jul - 31 Dec mid-December 31 Jan of the next year

Tenement holders and proprietors of a private mine are required to submit a royalty return each six months.

We encourage all tenement holders to do this via Tenement Returns e-Lodgement (TReL), the online return submission webpage. The system provides you with a secure and easy way to calculate, review and submit your six monthly return.

From 1 January 2017 paper returns (Form 26) will only be available on request or via download from the Forms and fees page of this website.

It is important to note that returns must be lodged by the due date, even where no production has occurred in that period. It is a requirement that all information requested is provided and the declaration signed - penalties apply for false or misleading declarations. Records to support your return must be retained for a period of 7 years, and may be inspected to verify returns.

It is the responsibility of the tenement holder to ensure that they log in to complete their return via TReL or have received the necessary return form(s). For those clients completing returns via Form 26, they should contact the Resource Royalty Group if returns have not been received by the end of the reporting period (30 June or 31 December).

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Designated Mining Operators and monthly royalty payments

The Mining Act 1971 now requires royalty payers with an annual royalty liability greater than $100,000 to make monthly royalty payments. In March each year the Minister issues a Notice of Designation and Notice of Assessment for all royalty payers subject to this provision.

If a Designated Mining Operator expects a variation of more than 10% they may request to have the notice varied or amended.

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E-lodgement of returns

Clients can submit tenement mining returns and royalty payments using the secure tenement returns e-lodgement application (TReL).

TReL clients do not receive a paper copy of returns, however a reminder email will be sent with a list of tenements currently associated with your user access. To electronically lodge your return login to Tenement Return e-Lodgement (TReL).

Clients wishing to access TReL must forward the completed Form 31 Tenement returns e-lodgement (TReL) application (PDF 192 KB) to

TRel submissions are subject to the same requirements as paper mining return submisssions. If you register for TReL you must submit all of your nominated returns and pay royalty owed by the date due.

If you do not submit your TReL returns by the due date an administrative fee may apply. Penalties can also be applied for unpaid royalty.

1. Logging in for the first time

The web address for Tenement Return e-Lodgement (TReL) is

When you log into TReL for the first time you will need to update your contact details. This will ensure that any email notifications go to the correct address - note that these details only relate to return related activities.

TReL contact details screen

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2. TReL home page and beginning your returns

TReL logo

For simple navigation around the site, the TReL logo at the top left of the page will take you back to the home page at any time.


Clicking on the Hello section provides a menu of options, also assisting to navigate the site but also to log out of TReL. You can save your progress and logout of TRel at any time, completing and submitting your return at a later stage.

Lodge return

Once your details have been updated, click on Lodge Return to begin your return submission.

3. Tenement overview

After clicking on Lodge Return you will be taken to the Tenement overview page to commence entering your return information. If none of your tenements have produced during the period, select 'No' and you will be taken to the Quick Survey page. If only some of your tenements have produced select 'Yes' then tick the tenements that have had production. These functions help to speed up the time to submit your returns by eliminating the need to fill in return data where no production has occurred on a tenement during the period.

If you have production you will now need to go to each tenement to enter your return information.

Tenement overview screen in TReL

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4. Tenement returns

All commodities associated with your tenement will be displayed.

Click on down arrow to enter production and sales information for a particular commodityClick on the down arrow and you can enter the production and sales information.

Where relevant, deduction information is also entered at this point.

TReL screen showing commodities associated with a particular tenement

As you click the arrow, the commodity will expand to show the details you are required to fill in.

Complete commodity button Make sure you click the Complete Commodity box before proceeding to the next commodity.

You must enter a Total Sales Value for all production.

Example: 1,000 tonnes x $5 sales value per tonne = $5,000 Total Sales Value

After entering your production Amount and Total Sales Value, a Sales Value per Tonne is displayed to allow you to quickly review the accuracy of the data entered and correct a keying error such as reporting sales values of $200,000 instead of $20,000.

Edit commodity button If you identify an error after you have marked a particular commodity as completed, click on the Edit Commodity box to make the necessary changes.

Councils must enter a total sales values for all borrow pit production, which should be based on the value of the minerals as if they had been purchased from a local quarry.

TReL total sales value entry example

If you have carried out Mineral Exploration during the period, select 'yes' to display the details of the expenditure that you must provide.

The Production Notes section allows you to provide comments about matters affecting the amount or value of minerals recovered during the period. Tenement holders are encouraged to provide comments where appropriate.

TReL Mineral exploration and Production notes section

The bottom of this page provides overview of the return for each Tenement including the calculated royalty. Once you have marked all commodities as complete, Save and move to the next tenement or the Return Summary page if all tenements are completed.

TReL royalty summary

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5. Return Summary

Upload a document

The Return Summary page allows you to upload any documents that support you submission.

Click on the Print Return button on the page to either print or save down a copy of your return.

You will also have the option to print or save a copy of your return immediately after lodging it.

TReL return summary screen

The bottom of the page shows the royalty due after adjusting for any payments or debits (including audit adjustments if applicable). Note that Monthly Payments only apply to Designated Mining Operators (DMOs). If you are a DMO you will have previously received a Notice of Designation outlining your obligations.

TReL monthly payments received screen

Once you have reviewed your submission continue to the Quick Survey page.

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6. Quick Survey

We ask all tenement holders to complete this survey each return period. The information provided enables us to track how the industry is going and importantly it helps the government to understand the industry and plan for any changes into the future.

TReL employment survey

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7. Lodge your return

Once you have completed all returns for the period you will be able to see the total royalty due.

Lodge return button Choose your payment method and after reading the terms and conditions, tick the acknowledgement box before lodging your returns using the Lodge Return button.

If there are any commodities which have not been marked as complete you will see a message that 'Your return is not ready to submit'. Click on the tenement number(s) to both review, edit and mark 'complete' those tenements requiring attention.

Incomplete submission notice

Complete commodity button Please ensure that you have pressed the Complete Commodity button to finalise the commodities on each tenement once you have entered the data.

Notice to complete commodity information

When you have completed all sections, you can go directly to the Lodge Return page to finalise your submission.

Lodge completed return TReL screen

The Terms and Conditions can be found by clicking the link:

Terms and conditions of TReL

TReL return lodged screen

Your return has now been lodged.

If you have selected EFT as your payment method, please ensure that you use the TReL EFT reference shown on the Lodge Return page.

If you have selected to pay by credit card you will be directed to the payment gateway page.

  • After lodging your return you are only able to view your submission.
  • Returns cannot be edited once lodged.
  • If you identify an error with your return after lodging, contact the Resource Royalties team by phone or email.

8. Report example: TReL Mineral Royalty Return Summary

You can print or save a copy of your submission as a record of your return for the period.

Example of a TReL Mineral Royalty Return Summary

9. Viewing Previous Returns

From this page you can view returns previously submitted through TReL. Select the return period from the drop down list to view your submission. You are able to print or save a copy.

If you have any questions or need further assistance using TReL contact Resource Royalties:

Phone: +61 8 8463 3095

After 1 January 2017 you will no longer need to send the Department of State Development an application form to access TReL. Prior to the June 2017 return period we will be sending all Tenement holders a unique username and password to access TReL.

Note that if you are unable to complete returns using TReL, you will need to contact the Department of State Development to receive paper returns.

Payment of royalties

Royalty payments can be made by cheque made payable to the Department of State Development, or by direct bank transfer to:


Commonwealth Bank of Australia
101 King William Street
Adelaide, SA 5000 

BIC/Swift code:CTBAAU2S
Account name:Department of State Development - Collections
Account number:

1000 0565

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Late or non-lodgement of a mining return

Returns not submitted by the due date will be subject to an Administration Fee as outlined in the Mining Regulations 2011.

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Penalty for unpaid royalty

In addition to the administrative fee, where royalty has not been paid by the due date, penalties apply. For royalty outstanding from a private mine section 73E of the Mining Act 1971 applies. In all other cases of outstanding royalty please refer to section 17E of the Act.

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Royalty compliance

The Department of State Development's Resource Royalty Branch uses risk evaluation techniques to identify and monitor compliance with the Mining Act 1971 and associated regulations.

The aim of the Audit and Assurance team is to ensure producers are paying the correct amount of royalty to the State as per their obligations under relevant legislation.

The Resources and Energy Division's compliance philosophy is based on:

  • Obtaining a maximum level of voluntary compliance
  • Tenement holders having a clear understanding of their obligations
  • Identifying risk areas for pro-active investigation
  • Applying the appropriate treatment for non-compliance
  • Treating tenement holders in a fair and equitable manner


This information is provided to help you understand the audit process and answer some questions you may have. It also provides you with some details of your rights and obligations during an audit.

Audits are selected in a variety of ways:

* Projects designed to target specific problems or issues in legislation
* Industry trend analysis
* Tip offs
* Follow-up of information received from a variety of sources
* Random selection for the routine verification and coverage of the royalty revenue base 

The Resource Royalties Team anticipates that all tenement holders will be audited at least once every 4 years.

In most cases an auditor will:

* Write, telephone or visit you to let you know that an audit will be conducted
* Explain the process and the scope of the audit
* Specify the records to be produced
* Give you a reasonable period to assemble those records for either submission for desk audit or arranging a time and place to interview you or a representative
* Confirm arrangements in writing

The field audits will be conducted by authorised officers appointed pursuant to section 14 of the Mining Act 1971.

During an audit, the auditor will conduct interviews and make enquiries to establish compliance with the particular legislation and examine and test some of your internal financial records.

You will receive written advice of the outcome of the audit and any proposed action.

You should ensure that the records the investigator has requested are ready for examination. If you require further time to collate the records, please inform the investigator prior to the commencement of the audit.

How long an audit takes depends to a large extent on what type of audit - full audit, interim audit, theme audit or spot check - is undertaken. 

If you have any questions about the arrangements for the audit or the processes involved, contact the auditor for assistance.

Investigators have a range of powers. In general, these powers permit the investigator to:

* Gain access to buildings and property and remain there
* Inspect, examine and copy any documents or records
* Require a person to answer questions and provide information
* Require a person to take reasonable steps to obtain information relevant to the investigation and to pass it on to the authorised officer. A full list of authorised officer powers can be found under section 14 of the Mining Act 1971

If a tenement holder fails to comply with an investigator's lawful requests, it is possible that penalties such as a fine can be applied.

During an audit, you are obliged to provide:

* The investigator reasonable assistance and facilities
* Complete and honest answers and explanations to questions
* Prompt, full and free access to all relevant information, records, documents, data and systems as required

If an audit is to be conducted, you have the right to:* Ask to reasonable time to produce your records
* Negotiate the time and place for the investigation with the investigator
* Receive written confirmation of these arrangements

During an audit, you have the right to:

* Sight the investigator's identification and authority
* Expect the investigator to be professional and courteous
* Involve your professional representative in the process
* Ask how long the investigation will take
* Expect your affairs to be treated with strict confidentiality
* Be given the opportunity to explain the reasons for any irregularities, discrepancies, decisions etc

At the end of the audit, you have the right to:

* Receive an explanation of the results or findings
* Ask the investigator how an assessment of royalty payable has been applied
* Ask for advice about the objection and appeal process
* Discuss any aspect of your case with the investigator or his or her manager

If you are dissastisfied with certain decisions or an assessment you are entitled to appeal against the assessment to the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court. You have one month from the date of the assessment to lodge an objection to the ERD Court.

Information gathered during audit is treated in the strictest confidence and will not be used or divulged except for purposes required by law.

For more information, contact:

The Resource Royalty Team
Phone: +61 (8) 8463 3095