The Conceptual Project Development Plan (CDPD) process gives project proponents the opportunity to discuss all aspects of their project with the Division of Resources & Geoscience (the Division), prior to lodging a development application with the relevant consent authority.

A CPDP meeting provides:

  • The opportunity for proponents to demonstrate their proposal is a responsible and sustainable mining or petroleum development; a development that minimises impacts on the environment.
  • An opportunity for valuable feedback to help streamline the development consent process.

CPDP meetings are to be held on the project site with the Division’s technical representatives. If this is not feasible meetings can be held at the Division’s Maitland or Sydney offices.

After the CPDP meeting the Division provides written advice to the proponent. This advice may also inform further discussions with the consent authority. The consent authority could be either the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Planning Services Division or the local council1, depending on the type and scale of the proposed development.

In line with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007, there is a statutory requirement that after a development application for a resource mining proposal is lodged with the consent authority, the authority must consider the efficiency  of the development and whether conditions of consent should be issued.

Prior to any determination by the relevant consent authority, the Division is responsible for the efficient and optimised development of the relevant resource.  This is assessed by undertaking a Resource and Economic Assessment (REA), as part of the Division’s Environmental Impact Statement review process. This will generally be undertaken at the project site, ideally three months prior to the submission of the Environmental Assessment /Environmental Impact Statement.


A CPDP must demonstrate the project:

It should consist of representative plans and cross sections identifying geological, mining, commercial, topographical and other constraints to the operation. It should also include an overview of the proposed mining & production schedule and a report of major environmental issues.

The CPDP must be supported by the following information:

  • The broad parameters of the project, including the:
    • scale of the proposed development
    • type and rate of mining/production
    • infrastructure and offsite transport requirements
    • employment opportunities and capital costs of the project.
  • All key issues and any major constraints to the project.
  • For coal and major mineral projects:
    • A Draft Resource/Reserve Statement based on the latest Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code) for reporting resources and reserves:
      • A minimum of indicated resource level is required to demonstrate sufficient resources are identified to support at least the initial stage of the proposal.
      • This must be lodged prior to presentation of the CPDP.
  • For petroleum projects an independently certified resource/reserves report:
    • A minimum of a 2P Proven and Probable Reserve is required to demonstrate sufficient resources are identified to support at least the initial stage of the proposal.
    • This must be lodged prior to presentation of the CPDP.
  • Demonstration the proposed mining/production scheme is achievable and consistent with current industry best practice extraction, safety and environmental standards.
    • Must include a geotechnical assessment of slope stability in relation to proposed high walls, low walls and overburden emplacement to achieve long-term operational and rehabilitation outcomes; or conformation that this will be undertaken prior to development application/submission of an EIS.
  • Indication the proposed overall operation and rehabilitation can be carried out in an environmentally responsible manner.

  • Demonstration that resource recovery has been optimised and waste minimised, accounting for any environmental, geological, geotechnical and economic constraints, including but not limited to:

    • Where the proposed mining/production scheme excludes resources that would normally be regarded as potentially economic by current industry standards, the Division requires appropriate economic and/or technical justification for the proposed mining/production scheme.
  • Justification for the proposed mine design, schedule and final landform (including any voids):
    • Why has the mine design been chosen?
      • incorporating resource, design, commercial/economic constraints
    • Why is this the best outcome?
    • If this is a modification, why is this an improvement to the current approved project?
  • Proposed timeline for evaluation and development (from development application to commencement of operations).

Proponents should consult the Division at an early stage during the preparation of concept plans; once the proponent has identified key issues and any major constraints to mining.


The CPDP presentation is made to the Division’s technical group, consisting of relevant representatives from the Division’s Geological Survey of NSW, Resource Operations and Resources Policy, Planning & Programs branches, as well as the Resources Regulator.

Arrangements should be made by contacting the Division’s Assessment Coordination Unit.

The PowerPoint presentation and any supporting documents must be provided to the Assessment Coordination Unit one week prior to the meeting to allow its circulation to the technical group.


The Division reviews the proposal based on:

  • the level of detail and content in the conceptual project development plan
  • the level of resource recovery and utilisation
  • mine design
    • including final void/landform and rehabilitation outcomes and alternate options explored
  • broad scale environmental issues and any major constraints
  • general outline of economic benefits and project feasibility.

1 https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/public/my-local-council

For further information
Assessment Coordination Unit
+61 (0)2 4063 6534
Assessment Coordination Unit, PO Box 344 Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map