After a mineral title has been granted

Expenditure project area

If you hold two or more exploration licences and are planning to spend a substantial amount carrying out technical work in the project area, you can apply to the department for an expenditure project area. 

There is no form for this. You must apply in writing and include all of the following information:

  • the proposed project area name
  • a map showing the exploration licences to be included
  • all of the following details for each exploration licence:
    • date it was granted
    • current operational year
    • number of blocks held
    • minimum expenditure amounts
  • a  date to give the project area expenditure notice on how much was spent on technical work during the past 12 months and how much will be spent in the next year.

Before applying, you must have approval for amalgamated expenditure and annual reporting for all licences in the proposed project area.

Read amalgamated reporting for mineral titles for more information.

Refer to the process flowchart for applying for an exploration project area.


If an expenditure project area is approved, all of the following conditions apply:

  • the approval applies to all of the exploration licences in the nominated area
  • you must provide a project expenditure notice on or before the nominated reporting day 
  • the proposed amount can be spent in any part of the project area - this does not mean all work is concentrated in only one area, and work must be done on all licences within the project area over time.

What and how to report

In addition to the annual project expenditure notice, you must give an amalgamated expenditure report on the past year's expenditure for each licence area. 

For an expenditure project area, an amalgamated expenditure report means submitting separate reports for each exploration licence on the same day, not one report covering all licences.

The amalgamated annual report must also be lodged on or by the agreed date.

Get the project area expenditure notice PDF (141.0 KB)

Vary the expenditure condition

If you do not spend the required amount, you can apply to vary the expenditure condition. 

You can make one application which covers the entire project area.

A fee applies to this application. Read more about rents, fees and other costs.

You must submit the application when you lodge the amalgamated expenditure report and expenditure notice.

Cancellation of project area

Your expenditure project area can be cancelled if you do not meet the expenditure condition. 

If you fail to meet the expenditure condition two years in a row, some or part of the licences in the project area can be cancelled.

Partial cancellation of blocks

If you fail to meet the expenditure condition two years in a row, some or part of the licences in the project area an be cancelled.

Read guide to expenditure conditions for more information on how cancellation is calculated.

Area reductions

You must surrender half the blocks in an exploration licence area every two years during the initial licence term. 

For an expenditure project area, you can either nominate blocks for reduction in line with the normal two year period or nominate a blanket deferral for reductions until the date you have agreed to submit your expenditure notice.

You can choose blocks from some or all of your exploration licence areas to make up the area to be reduced. Each licence area must end up with no more than three separate areas of four adjoining blocks.

If you defer the nomination of blocks, you will have to pay rent for all blocks you hold at the anniversary of the grant of the licence. You will not get a refund for any blocks you later surrender.

You can apply to waive or reduce the reduction requirement. If you do not meet the expenditure condition in the same year, the department may refuse to consider this application.

Before making a decision to refuse an application relating to the reduction requirement, the department must take into account what effect this decision may have on the activities being conducted under the project area.

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Last updated: 23 June 2016

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