Current exploration activity

There are more than 670 mineral exploration licences currently in force in NSW These licenses cover more than 90,000 km2 or 11.26% of NSW land area.

The level of exploration activity is affected to a great extent by world commodity prices and current and predicted economic growth trends. The strong growth of the Chinese economy between 2010 and 2015 drove a significant  increase in demand for mineral resources. The opportunities still abound to the astute resource investor/explorer.

The state is coming to be recognised internationally as a major minerals resource province with resources of copper, gold, zinc and rare earths, in addition to a major source of thermal and coking coal.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports private mineral exploration expenditure in NSW was $122.1 million in 2014-15, focused mainly on gold and base metals.

 NSW new mining capital expenditure

The major regional focus for exploration in NSW in recent decades has been the Lachlan Fold Belt and Broken Hill regions for metallic deposits and the Murray Basin for mineral sands, but the New England Orogen in northern NSW and the Thomson Orogen frontier region in the far north-west of NSW are also increasingly seen as areas of interest for exploration. Visit the Mineral deposits maps web page for detailed information.

Exploration initiatives

The NSW government has allocated over $95 million in recent years through its exploration initiatives, creating strong incentives for explorers to invest in NSW.

One such initiative is the New Frontiers Exploration Initiative, funded by an annual rental fee since 2012, and designed to provide a significant stimulus to future exploration for mineral and petroleum resources in NSW.

The NSW government has overhauled the planning and approvals processes ensuring the benefits that flow to the economy through a vibrant and prosperous mining industry are taken into account, as part of a balanced and rigorous assessment process.

This aims to deliver greater certainty and confidence for investors and resilience to regional communities.

Exploration companies with activities in NSW


Anchor Resources Ltd

Copper, Gold, Antimony

Anglo American PLC

Copper, Gold

Arc Exploration Ltd

Silver, Gold, Lead, Zinc

Argent Minerals Ltd

Silver, Gold, Lead, Zinc

Ark Mines Ltd

Gold, Copper, Iron Ore, Zinc, Silver, Lead

Augur Resources Ltd

Nickel Cobalt, Copper, Gold, Silver, Molybdenum

Aurelia Metals Ltd

Gold, Copper, Lead, Zinc, Silver, Tin, Bismuth, Indium, Tungsten

Ausmon Resources Ltd

Gold, Copper, Silver, Zinc

Balamara Resources Ltd

Zinc, Copper, Lead, Silver, Gold

Capital Mining Ltd

Gold, Copper, Zinc, Silver, Lead, REE

Carpentaria Exploration Ltd

Gold, Nickel, Copper, Iron ore and PGE

Castillo Copper Ltd

Copper, Zinc, Silver, Gold

China Molybdenum Co Ltd

Silver, Copper, Gold

Clancy Exploration Ltd

Gold, Copper, Silver, Lead, Zinc

Golden Cross Resources Ltd

Copper, lead, Zinc, Silver, Gold, PGE, Ni

Helix Resources Ltd

Copper and Gold

Heron Resources Ltd

Copper, Zinc, Lead, Silver, Gold

Impact Minerals Ltd

Nickel, Copper, PGE, Gold, Zinc, Silver, Lead

International Base Metals Ltd

Copper, Gold

Ironbark Zinc Ltd

Copper, Zinc, Lead

Jervois Mining Ltd

Copper, Nickel, Scandium, Cobalt, Iron, Gold

KBL Mining Ltd

Gold, Copper, Lead, Zinc, Silver

Kidman Resources Ltd

Copper, Lead, Zinc, Silver, Gold

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd


Mincor Resources NL

Copper and Gold

Minotaur Resources Ltd

Copper and Gold



New South Resources Ltd

Gold, Silver, Magnetite, Hematite

Newcrest Mining Ltd

Copper, Gold


Zinc, Lead, Silver

Paradigm Metals Ltd

Copper, Gold, Tungsten

Peel Mining Ltd

Silver, Tungsten, Copper, Gold

Regis Resources Ltd

Copper, Gold

Sandfire Resources NL

Copper, Gold

Silver City Minerals Ltd

Gold, Silver, Base Metals

Silver Mines Ltd


Southern Crown Resources Ltd

Copper and Gold

St Barbara Ltd

Copper and Gold

Straits Resources Ltd

Copper and Gold

Teck Resources Ltd


Thomson Resources Ltd

Copper, lead, Zinc and Gold

Toho Zinc Co Ltd

Silver, Lead, Zinc

Variscan Mines Ltd

Lead, Zinc and Silver, Copper, Tin, Gold

White Rock Minerals Ltd

Gold, Silver and Copper

Disclaimer: While all reasonable care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website, to the extent permitted by law, the State of New South Wales (including the NSW Department of Industry) is not liable for the accuracy or completeness of the information, or for any injury, loss, or damage whatsoever (including without limitation liability for negligence and consequential losses) suffered by any person acting, or purporting to act, in reliance upon anything contained herein. For more information read our full disclaimer.