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Mineral Resources Tasmania

Prospecting and fossicking

Prospecting and Fossicking in Tasmania are recreational or educational activities for anyone interested in collecting samples of natural minerals. Tasmania has many areas in which a diverse range of rock and mineral specimens may be discovered.

Prospecting and Fossicking are administered by Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) in accordance with the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 (MRDA).


This is an activity that may be conducted in many locations around Tasmania by anyone with a prospecting licence. Prospecting means to explore for minerals to a depth of less than 2 metres below the surface of the Earth, or of any pre-existing excavation, by means of a hand-held instrument including metal detectors.

More information about prospecting can be found here.

Group Prospecting

Any community group, school or business may apply for a Group Prospecting Licence. A Group Prospecting Licence enables the holder to conduct prospecting activities with groups of up to 20 participants who are individually not required to hold prospecting licences.

More information about group prospecting can be found here.


Fossicking means to search for minerals for a purpose other than commercial gain, to a depth of 2 metres by hand, or by using hand-held instruments. Fossicking is different to prospecting because a licence is not required if activities are conducted within any of the eleven areas declared under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995. Metal detectors are not permitted for use within designated fossicking areas.

More information about Fossicking can be found here.

Related Publications

Mineral Resources Tasmania has a range of prospecting and fossicking related books available for download or purchase.