Ban on subsea mining in the Territory


Subsea mining is now banned in the Northern Territory with a Declaration of Prohibited Action gazetted.

Subsea mining has never been undertaken in the Northern Territory, and poses real risks of significant environmental impacts.

At this time, subsea mining is unable to be adequately assessed and regulated appropriately in a manner consistent with the  Environment Protection Act 2019 due to the risks and uncertainty.

The Environment Minister has gazetted the ‘Declaration of Prohibited Action: Subsea Mining’ as the final step in formalising the ban on subsea mining, following the conclusion of the Minister’s public consultation on a draft declaration. The Minister’s decision was informed by reports from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority and Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority.

The Government’s position on prohibiting subsea mining in the Territory is based on:

  • The potential impacts on the environment and sacred sites;
  • The potential impacts on the Northern Territory’s existing marine resource based industries, such as fishing, aquaculture, pearling, and tourism, while also managing the complexities of a new and emerging industry in a highly dynamic environment;
  • Limited information available about how to effectively and appropriately manage these impacts or to rehabilitate the seabed once mining is complete: and
  • Community views.

View the Gazette notice ’Declaration of Prohibited Action: Subsea Mining’.

View the Minister’s Statement of Reasons for making the Declaration.

Scenic image of rocks and sea

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