Does Gold Prospecting Require Land Owners’ Permission?

Public outrage has been expressed by owners of property in the Kauri Mountain area where new mineral exploration permits have been approved by the Government without landowners’ knowledge.

According to the NZ Petroleum & Minerals website, permission from a rural land owner is not necessary for “minimum impact activity” by mining exploration companies, says Jenny Kirk, from the Puhipuhi Mining Action Group. “Minimum impact activity includes sampling by hand-held means or low-impact mechanical methods, aerial and land surveying and other minimal impact methods. “This activity is called prospecting”

“And the prospecting permit holder is required to give 10 working days notice of entry with the date of intended entry, the type and duration of work to be carried out and a telephone number in New Zealand of the person who intends to enter the land.

“There are some exceptions needing prospecting access permission such as crop land, gardens, orchards or land less than 4.05 hectares in size.

“However, a land owner can refuse permission for a mining company to go onto their land to do further exploration, or actual mining at a later date.”, Jenny Kirk says.

“Of course, exploration companies will try and persuade land owners – by whatever means possible – to allow them onto their land, but the land owners can deny them that permission”.

If a land owner does give access permission to a mining company for further work, then they need to be aware that this access goes on the land Certificate of Title and remains there for subsequent land owners.

Further details can be obtained from the NZ Petroleum & Minerals website, which also contains the details in the Crown Minerals Act 1991 reprinted October 2013.

Click here to access the NZ Petroleum & Minerals website