Land tenure and availability

Land availability

This page has information about the availability of land for the application for a title for mineral and energy exploration or mining and production in the NT.

How to identify areas for application

The department has a series of online databases and applications you can use to search for geoscientific data, tenure information and general land availability.

You can use searchable maps to identify areas for application, find out who owns them and discover whether there are existing titles over an area.

Many datasets can be downloaded and are available in both ESRI Shape and MapInfo TAB file formats.

Read more about geoscience data and maps. Go to the Spatial Territory Resource Information Kit for Exploration (STRIKE) website for land tenure, title and geoscience information.

You can contact the Mineral Titles Division or the Energy Titles Unit for more information.

Petroleum acreage release 2016

Amendments to the Petroleum Act 1984 allow for the controlled release of vacant land and the government to accept multiple applications for exploration permits on the same acreage, providing for a more competitive assessment process.

Release areas vary in size and the level of existing geological knowledge and, may be covered by the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 or Native Title Act 1993.

Release areas are supported by existing well and seismic data together with regional geological data.

Parks and reserves

A title may be granted over land in a NT declared park or reserve zone after consultation between the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources and the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources.

If the title is granted it may be subject to stringent conditions agreed by the two ministers.

Cultural heritage and Aboriginal sacred sites

You must be aware of any heritage or sacred sites in your proposed application area.

After grant anyone conducting exploration, mining or production work must abide by the Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act, which makes it an offence to enter or work on a sacred site.

You can be fined up to $52,000 or jailed for two years, and your company can be fined up to $260,000, if you enter or work on a sacred site.

For more information about the location of sacred sites go to the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority website.

Telecommunication sites or Commonwealth land

Telecommunication sites or Commonwealth land can be included in a title application. These will be either excluded by description at grant if the area is small or removed from the area prior to grant.


You can contact the Mineral Titles Division or the Energy Titles Unit for more information.

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Last updated: 04 February 2020

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