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Special Interest > Fossicking and Prospecting

Fossicking to be fuss free


Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps
Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
The Honourable Steve Dickson

Fossicking to be fuss free

The Newman Government is catering for a surge in interest in recreational fossicking by making fossicking licences available online and by opening up two new State forests to fossicking.

Mines Minister Andrew Cripps and National Parks Minister Steve Dickson made the announcement today while fossicking for Thunder Eggs at Tamborine Mountain’s Thunderbird Park.

“The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has worked hard to simplify licensing for fossickers searching for alluvial gold, gems and ornamental stones,” Mr Cripps said.

“From today, Queenslanders can simply enter their details online in a few minutes to complete their application and they will be emailed their fossicking licence.

“Until now, fossickers had to submit a paper form to authorised licensing agents or district offices of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

“My department has issued more than 8,000 recreational fossicking licences since 1 January 2012, compared to 5,108 during 2011 and 3,194 during 2006.”

Mr Cripps said there were various types of fossicking licences available to suit everyone’s needs.

“Licences can be issued for a one, six, or 12 month period, with fees ranging from $7.05 to $44.75 for an individual, or $10.10 to $59.60 for a family,” he said.

Mr Dickson said fossickers would now be able to access land in the Durikai and Talgai State forests west of Warwick, taking Queensland’s designated fossicking areas to more than 20, including 12 in Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service-managed state forests and reserves.

“Queensland is a fossicker's paradise, with its gold and diversity of gem deposits known worldwide,” Mr Dickson said.

“Fossickers can try their luck finding agate, garnet, opal, sapphire, thunder eggs, topaz and zircon, amongst others, at various locations throughout Queensland.

“Following a thorough assessment, we have released three fossicking areas on Durikai and one on Talgai comprising a combined area of almost 5,500 hectares."

Mr Dickson reminded Queenslanders that fossicking could only involve the use of hand tools such as picks, shovels, hammers, sieves, shakers or electronic detectors, with no machinery permitted.

“QPWS has installed information signage at entry points to Durikai and Talgai State forests about the obligations of fossickers under their licence,” he said.

Durikai is on the Cunningham Highway 27km west of Warwick, and Talgai is 35km north-west of Warwick near the town of Pratten.

DNRM and DNP will continue to work closely to identify State forests with high fossicking potential where increased access will not compromise forest harvesting activities, the rights of existing users or areas of habitat value.

More information is at and


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