The Mt Owen Complex and its immediate surrounds have been subject to regular archaeological investigations, both surface and subsurface, since 1990. The survey areas for the project were selected based on the location of proposed disturbance areas for which previous survey was not conducted and adjoin previous study areas. No archaeological sites are destroyed without the appropriate permits issued by the Office of Environment and Heritage following consultation with the Aboriginal community.
An Aboriginal Voluntary Conservation Area (VCA) currently exists at Mt Owen over an area of approximately 29 hectares around Yorks Creek to the west of the Mt Owen main overburden dump for protection of archaeological sites. This area is known as the Yorks Creek VCA.