On 29 October 2021, the Victorian Government announced Fosterville Gold Mine as the successful tenderers for Blocks 1, 2 and 3 of the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release.
The tender applications were evaluated against nominated criteria, which considered the explorers capacity to demonstrate a history of responsible exploration, and a commitment to work closely with traditional owners, local stakeholders and communities.
The announcement provided Fosterville Gold Mine with exclusive rights to apply for the exploration tenements and commence the exploration licensing process.
What happens next?
During the initial stages of the licensing process, companies are required to advertise their licence application(s) in newspapers and online to give stakeholders and community members the opportunity provide feedback and make submissions to Earth Resources Regulation or the Minister for Resources regarding the application(s).
All submissions are considered by the regulator and/ or Minister for Resources and additional assessments are undertaken, prior to a decision being made on the licence application. Stakeholders are encouraged at all times to engage directly with Fosterville Gold Mine to raise any questions or concerns regarding the exploration licensing process or activities. Similarly, Fosterville Gold Mine’s community engagement activities will increase as the licensing process progresses and exploration plans are advanced.
Fosterville Gold Mine expects the licensing application process to take approximately six months to complete and during this time no exploration work will take place.
What is Fosterville Gold Mine exploration approach?
Fosterville Gold Mine’s approach to exploration commences with information gathering and desktop analysis of the licence area. This typically involves collation of all historical geological information, including any available drill samples that may be followed up with assessment and re-analysis, where necessary.
Following the desktop process, Fosterville Gold Mine may commence reconnaissance and/or a low impact exploration activities – such as visual inspections, airborne geophysical surveys and soil sampling over the licence area – in order to identify areas of potential interest for further exploration work. More information about the different types of exploration can be found on the exploration methods webpage.
During the initial stages of any exploration program, potential environmental and community sensitivities are fully assessed. There is recognition of cultural heritage and Fosterville Gold Mine acknowledges the traditional owner rights across the exploration licence areas.
Community and biodiversity values are also assessed, so that appropriate measures can be implemented to manage any potential impacts and maintain compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements.
Fosterville Gold Mine ’s approach to exploration on private land is by agreement only, meaning that gaining access to private land is achieved through consultation and consent from private landholders.
See the attached .pdf to view the licencing procee.