Mining companies that can demonstrate a commitment to engaging with Traditional Owners and boosting local jobs will be favoured in a major release of ground for gold exploration by the Victorian Government.
Victorian Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes made the announcement at the opening of the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne.
The North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release will be open to a competitive international tender, with strong interest expected thanks to the success of Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville Mine, which is set to produce four times as much high-grade gold this year as it did in 2016.
For the first time, engagement with traditional owners will be part of the evaluation process and selection criteria for prospective companies, so indigenous communities can assess the miners’ ability to develop relationships with traditional owners and work with consideration of cultural heritage.
Victoria’s wealth was built on gold and the state continues to punch above its weight, with growth in minerals exploration spending in Victoria over recent years outpacing other states and increasing year on year, bringing benefit to a range of regional businesses and jobs for country Victorians.
“Gold helped build Victoria’s wealth and the industry remains integral to creating regional jobs,” Ms Symes said.
“The North Central ground release will be a huge boost for this sector – attracting companies who are determined to work closely with regional communities and the traditional owners of the land they will explore.”
The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that only half the gold that may exist in Victoria has been found over the past 169 years, putting the state in prime position for a second gold rush.
Victoria is Australia’s largest exporter of mining equipment, technology and services. Victorian METS companies are at IMARC connecting to the global industry, thanks to the Victorian Government’s support of the event.
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation group CEO Rodney Carter said: “The mining industry and its investors now understand the value of social licence. We support the government’s commitment to deliver industry best practice for the benefit of all Victorians.”