About mineral titles


The Northern Territory (NT) government owns all minerals and extractive minerals in the NT except for uranium, which belongs to the Australian Government.

You must apply for a mineral title if you want to explore for, or mine minerals, or take extractive minerals such as sand, gravel, rock, peat or soil.

Each mineral title gives you different rights to undertake certain activities in the area specified in the title. It does not affect the underlying ownership of the land.

Once you have been granted a mineral title, you may need to apply for a separate mining authorisation to conduct activities on the land within the title area.

Read more about how to apply for a mining authorisation.

Mineral titles for exploration

There are several types of mineral title you can apply for in the NT. Each one gives you different rights and comes with different conditions.

You will need to apply for one of the following mineral titles if you want to undertake exploration activities:

  • exploration licence
  • exploration licence in retention - only if you hold an existing exploration licence
  • extractive mineral exploration licence
  • mineral authority under exploration and mining categories.

An exploration licence does not allow the licence holder to develop a mine, mine for minerals or extractive minerals.

Mineral titles for mining

You will need to apply for one of the following mineral titles if you want to undertake mining or extractive operations:

  • extractive mineral permit
  • extractive mineral lease
  • mineral lease
  • mineral authority over reserved land.

Print all pages in this section

Last updated: 22 September 2020

Share this page:

Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.