Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the landmark international Protocol that permanently banned mining in Antarctica – the Madrid Protocol.

Australia championed the adoption of the Protocol and we remain resolutely committed to the Protocol and its enduring mining ban.

The Antarctic Treaty system, which includes the Protocol, has succeeded in protecting Antarctica's unique environment and devoting the continent to peace and cooperative international science.

Through the Government's Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, released in April this year, Australia will work more closely with other countries to strengthen this vital Treaty system and its mining ban.

Protecting Antarctica's fragile environment is a fundamental interest of the international community and the continent remains invaluable for conducting globally significant scientific research.

The Madrid Protocol is a legally binding international agreement that fully protects the Antarctic environment. It strictly regulates activities in Antarctica to minimise the impact on the unique and iconic environment.

Earlier this year, at the annual Antarctic Treaty meeting in Chile, Australia and all other Antarctic Treaty nations issued the 'Santiago Declaration', reaffirming their strong and unwavering commitment to the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Protocol.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555