public comment

Victoria’s Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) will give Western Victorian communities a chance to have their say on minerals licence applications in their local area.

ERR made around 11,000 square kilometres of ground available for licence exploration applications on 2 May 2022.

This territory is within the Stavely Arc zone, which has been identified as an area with high potential for gold, copper, other base metals, gypsum and mineral sands.

In 2020, the minerals sector invested $130 million into local council areas within the Stavely Arc – half of which was paid in wages to almost 450 workers.

Minerals industry workers use low-impact methods in these areas across the surface of the ground for evidence of minerals over a large area. Once promising areas are identified, they focus their efforts on a smaller zone.

ERR is currently conducting an initial assessment of submissions, before allowing mineral explorers 14 days to advertise their licence applications.

Mineral explorers must then publicise a comment period through advertisements in local newspapers, to give residents from communities in Wimmera, north and east Hamilton, and surrounding Mortlake, an opportunity to submit their views.

At the conclusion of the public submission period, ERR will take community comments into consideration as they assess each application.

Not all of the mineral exploration licences will result in a mining project. If an explorer identifies a commercially viable deposit, they will have to engage in a further rigorous assessment process.

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