The mining tenement system is a way of assigning mining rights to tracts of land. It typically involves the compete mining concession life cycle including identification, exploration and exploitation of an area. The purpose of the system is to effectively manage the mineral concession process and to bring transparency to all aspects of mining operations.
In specific implementations, a mining tenement is a claim, lease or licence specified by a Mining act or other legal definition.
• A mineral claim grants the exclusive right to the holder to prospect for minerals within the claim area for a period of 12 months and to then apply for a mining licence for part or all of the claim.
• An exploration licence is a grant of title by the issuing body for a person to explore for all minerals (including opal but not for extractive minerals) under the specific licence conditions.
• A mining lease must be obtained before a mine begins production activities; it gives exclusive rights to operate a mining operation and to sell the minerals being mined. There are two types of mining leases: extractive minerals (used to mine for construction materials) and a mineral lease for other minerals but excluding precious stones.