Scope and application
This policy applies to lands acquired under Part 11 or reserved under Part 4 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. This policy does not apply to lands reserved under Part 4A of the Act unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted it.
This policy aims to:
- guide the management of the limited fossicking opportunities in parks
- guide the assessment of any proposed new fossicking opportunities in parks in the development of plans of management.
Appropriate level of environmental impact assessment – these levels are detailed in OEH’s Environmental Impact Assessment – REFs, CRAs and Related Guidelines (internal document available upon request).
Bushrock means natural surface deposits of rock from rock outcrops or from areas of native vegetation. Bushrock may be loose rocks on rock surfaces or on the soil surface, or may have been removed from rock outcrops by excavation or blasting.
Fossicking means the small-scale search for, and collection of, minerals, gemstones or mineral-bearing material from the surface (or by digging from the surface) with hand-held implements. This activity may only be undertaken for recreational, tourist or educational purposes. (Fossicking: A guide to fossicking in NSW)
There are four types of fossicking:
- detecting is the use of electronic hand-held metal detectors and the small-scale excavation of the ground (to a depth of 0.5 metres) to locate minerals such as gold.
- panning is the use of handheld pans in fluvial locations and the small-scale excavation of river banks and beds to find minerals such as gold and gems such as sapphires.
- hand sluicing is the use of hand-operated sluices in fluvial locations and the small-scale excavation of river banks and beds to find minerals (such as gold) and gems (such as sapphires). Generally, more material can be processed using a sluice than with a pan, resulting in more material being excavated.
- mechanical sluicing is the use of mechanical sluices in fluvial locations and the small-scale excavation of river banks and beds to locate minerals such as gold and gems such as sapphires. Generally, a significant amount of material can be processed using a mechanical sluice, resulting in significant amounts of material being excavated. This amounts to a greater risk of harm and is therefore prohibited in all NPWS parks.
Fossicking District means an area gazetted under the Mining Act 1992 in which fossickers don’t need to obtain the consent of exploration-licence holders to be able to fossick. However, fossickers are still required to obtain permission from landholders including NPWS (section 12 of the Mining Act 1992). Details of fossicking districts can be obtained from NSW Resources and Energy. The districts can be displayed by a web-based service, MinView.
Park means land reserved under Part 4 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act), including a national park, nature reserve, historic site, Aboriginal area, state conservation area, karst conservation reserve or regional park, or any land acquired by the Minister under Part 11 of the NPW Act, or zones 1-3 of a community conservation area established by the Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Area Act 2005.
Plan of management (PoM) means a plan of management for a park prepared under Part 5 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Prescribed amount has the same meaning as in the Mining Regulation 2016.
Consent to fossick can be granted by a National Parks and Wildlife Service branch director.