Communities across the Wimmera, north and east of Hamilton and around Mortlake will be able to have their say on minerals exploration license applications in their local area in the coming weeks.
Around 11,000 square kilometers of ground was made available for minerals exploration license applications on 2 May 2022. The area is within a geological zone known as the Stavely Arc, which has potential for discoveries of copper, other base metals, gold, mineral sands and gypsum .
Earth Resource Regulation has now received applications to explore in the area and is conducting an initial assessment of submissions. After this review, mineral explorers will have 14 days to advertise their license application.
Explorers must publicize the comment period for their applications with advertisements to appear in local newspapers. Community members will have 21 days from the appearance of the last advertisement to submit a comment.
For a full list of applications open to public comment, visit have your say on new license applications.
Following the public submission period, Earth Resources Regulation will assess each application taking into consideration relevant community comments. These include whether the applicant is fit and proper to hold a license, they have a suitable proposal and can fund activities.
Additional information about the licensing process and where ground is available can be found at Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative.
In 2020, across local council areas within the Stavely Arc the minerals sector invested $130 million to the local economy and paid almost $70 million in wages to almost 450 workers.
Minerals exploration is a very different activity to mining. Explorers use low-impact methods to understand local geology and look for evidence of minerals over a large area, then typically focus activities on a smaller zone.
Not every mineral exploration license will proceed to a mining project. If a commercially viable deposit is identified through an exploration license, a separate and rigorous assessment process begins.
In Victoria, before an explorer can access privately-owned land and commence exploration, the explorer requires the consent of the landholder.
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