On 16 March 2017 the South Australian Government will release three sections of land for opal mining within the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field. The land had been set aside as water bore reserves and excluded from opal mining for the last 40 years.
The return of the land for opal mining has been agreed as part of the 2015 negotiations of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Fields.
Given the interest in the release areas, the South Australian Government is officiating a progressive ballot for the pegging of claims. The ballot is designed to ensure a fair and equitable process for all miners wishing to peg claims in the area.
To be eligible for the ballot a person must hold a current precious stones prospecting permit and must register their interest with the Mining Regulation Opal Field Office in Coober Pedy.
The release areas will be open for inspection prior to the draw so pegging locations can be identified.
More information about the ballot, including locations of the release areas, and conditions of the ballot, and information about obtaining a precious stones prospecting permit go to the Opal Mining section of this website.