Agency VA 612
Mines Department (also known as Department of Mines and Mining Department)
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Date Range: 1909 - 1977
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Establishment and Functions

In 1909 the Mines Department (also known as the Department of Mines and the Mining Department) inherited responsibility for the administration of mining from the Department of Mines and Water Supply (VA 2720).

The major responsibilities of the Department were:

* regulation and licensing of mining activity

* superintendence of the activities of Mining Surveyors, Registrars and Wardens (see also VRG 25 Mining Districts)

* investigation of the State's geological structure, mineral wealth and underground water resources

* development of the mining industry through the provision of technical services and financial assistance

* supervision of the safe working of mines, machinery and quarries.

The Department was also briefly responsible for the State Coal Mine (VA 720) from 1909 to 1911 prior to responsibility for the Mine being assumed by the Victorian Railways (VA 2876).

With the development of oil exploration in the 1930's and the development of the off-shore oil and natural gas industries in the 1960's, the Department became responsible for the issuing of Petroleum Prospecting Licences, Petroleum Mineral Leases and Petroleum Exploration Permits and later for the regulation of pipelines, onshore and offshore petroleum installations and for the transportation and storage of inflammable liquids and liquefied gases.

In 1938 the Department assumed responsibility for the issuing of gold buyers licences from the Treasury (VA 865) and in 1965 the Explosives and Gas Examining Branch was transferred from the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) to the Mines Department. In 1962 responsibility for the inspection of industrial boilers was transferred to the Department of Labour and Industry (VA 1027). With the passing of the Environment Protection Act in 1970, the Mines Department became an investigating agency of the Environment Protection Authority in matters relating to groundwater.

State Forests and Nurseries

Responsibility for this function was shared by a number of portfolios until 1909 when the Minister of Forests assumed responsibility for the Department of State Forests (VA 534). Until that time, responsibility had been exercised by:

Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey prior to 1875
Minister for Agriculture (VRG 34) 1875-1890
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey (VRG 18) 1890-1891
Minister of Mines (VRG 30) 1891-1893
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey 1893-1899
Minister for Forests (VRG 41) 1890-1900
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey 1900-1903
Minister of Agriculture (VRG 34) 1903-1904
Minister of Mines and Forests (VRG 30) 1904-1909.

For convenience each of the Ministers responsible for forests from 1900 to 1909 has been placed in the Forests Group (VRG 41) for the period of their responsibility for this function.

Until 1908 the Departments of Agriculture (VA 618), Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538), Mines (VA 2719) and Mines and Water Supply (VA 2720) were at various times responsible for State Forests. In 1908 the Department of State Forests (VA 534) was established. Until it became a department of state in its own right in 1981, it functioned as a sub-department of the Mines and Water Supply Department (VA 2720) until 1909 and thereafter of the Mines Department (VA 612). The Department of State Forests (VA 534) has therefore been included in both Mines (VRG 30) and Forests (VRG 41) for the period 1908 to 1918. The Department of Mines and Water Supply (VA 2720) and the Mines Department (VA 612) have also been included in the Forests Group (VRG 41).

In 1977 the Mines Department and the Ministry of Fuel and Power (VA 627) were amalgamated to form the Department of Minerals and Energy (VA 611).

Location of Records

Holdings at the Public Record Office are patchy, but include long runs of mining title records. See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.13.2.

 
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Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
- Unknown VPRS 7080 Other Open
? 1859 - 1972 Gold Mining Lease Files VPRS 602 North Melbourne Open
? 1860 - ? 1935 Index to Residence Areas, Rushworth VPRS 15367 North Melbourne Open
? 1863 - ? 1973 Water-Right Licence Files VPRS 6784 North Melbourne Open
? 1863 - ? 1973 Register of Applications for Water-Right Licences VPRS 7873 North Melbourne Open
? 1880 - ? 1979 Crown Solicitors Opinions, (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 15910 Other Not Applicable
? 1890 - 1989 Outward Letter Books (Explosives and Gas Examining Branch) (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12366 Other Not Applicable
? 1894 - ? 1989 General Correspondence Subject Files, Explosives (Explosives and Gas Examining Branch) (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12364 Other Not Applicable
? 1896 - ? 1980 Cash Books - All Accounts VPRS 6786 North Melbourne Open
? 1901 - ? 1977 Chief Inspector of Explosives' General Correspondence Files, Single Number System (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12362 Other Not Applicable
? 1907 - ? 1978 Register of Digesters (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12349 Other Not Applicable
? 1908 - ? 1972 Mining Dam Lease Files VPRS 6803 North Melbourne Open
? 1910 - ? 1989 Register of General Correspondence (Inward), Annual Single Number System (Explosives and Gas Examining Branch) (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12363 Other Not Applicable
? 1912 - ? 1980 Index to Historic Mine Plans in Alphabetical Order by Name of Mine (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 16164 Other Not Applicable
? 1912 - ? 1980 Index to Historic Mine Plans in Alphabetical Order by Parish Name (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 16165 Other Not Applicable
? 1929 - ? 1947 Register of Boiler Inspections in Mines VPRS 9534 North Melbourne Open
? 1940 - 1987 Operational Safety Committee Records Received by Explosives and Gas Examining Branch, Copies (Records Not Transferred) VPRS 12369 Other Not Applicable
? 1951 - ? 1981 Ledger Cards VPRS 6779 North Melbourne Open
? 1953 - ? 1978 Tailings Dumps Files VPRS 6820 North Melbourne Open
? 1956 - ? 1965 Petroleum Exploration Permit Files VPRS 6810 North Melbourne Open
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1909 - 1977 Geological survey VF 24
1909 - cont Mining VF 62
- 1911 State coal mine VF 108
1938 - cont Goldbuyers' licences VF 106
- 1962 Boilers, inspection of VF 299
1965 - 1977 Dangerous goods VF 150
- 1977 Groundwater resources VF 149
- 1977 Mining and extractive industries VF 151
- 1977 Petroleum industry VF 152
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1899 - 1900 Mines Ventilation Bonus Board VA 2599
1909 - 1977 Board of Examiners for Mine Managers VA 1399
1909 - 1977 Victorian Coal Miners' Accidents Relief Board VA 2623
1909 - 1977 Geological Survey of Victoria VA 4118
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Groups containing this AgencyGroups containing this Agency
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Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1909 - 1918 Forests VRG 41
1909 - 1977 Mines VRG 30