Minerals explorers have descended on Melbourne for a showcase detailing the 600 million years of geological history in the state’s west, which could build on Victoria’s minerals exploration boom.
Minister for Resources Tim Pallas addressed the Stavely Arc Uncovered event today, which will map out how minerals explorers can bid to access potential deposits of copper, gold and other metals in the Stavely Arc.
The Arc stretches north from Hamilton, west from Ararat and includes Horsham and Nhill.
With a high global demand for mineral deposits, particularly copper, geoscience data gathered by the Geological Survey of Victoria and Geoscience Australia is valuable in facilitating investment in the region – and with it, the creation of jobs.
Under the TARGET Minerals Exploration Initiative, $5.5 million in co-funded grants will be available to 11 exploration licence holders. Around $3.5 million in TARGET grants have been awarded in the past two years to great success, with Stawell-based Navarre Minerals already striking gold near the new tender area.
Recent gold discoveries at Fosterville Gold Mine, which employs 445 people – eight out of 10 of which live in the Greater Bendigo region – have been a boon for the Bendigo economy.
All successful tenderers will need to work closely with local communities to ensure minerals exploration is balanced with other land uses and that landholders are comfortable with the required activities.
Low impact minerals exploration activity, which excludes coal and gas exploration, along with the investment and jobs for local communities this brings could be underway as early as next year.
Melbourne is a global corporate mining centre – home to the headquarters of BHP Billiton, MMG, Oceanagold, Newcrest Mining, Alumina, St Barbara and Orica as well as Rio Tinto’s Asia Pacific regional headquarters.
New figures from Deloitte show that the METS sector in Victoria was estimated to be worth $13.6 billion in 2016/17 and accounted for 121,700 jobs.
Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Victoria’s mining sector is now leading the nation in growth, with minerals exploration expenditure increasing by 79% for the year to March – compared to 27% nationally – having more than trebled since December 2014 when the Andrews Government took office.
More details on the Stavely Project is available at earthresources.vic.gov.au/stavely.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Tim Pallas
“We’re helping kickstart a new mining boom in western Victoria that could cement Victoria’s reputation as a leading destination for the minerals exploration and mining sector.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with explorers to create a new wave of high-quality jobs and direct investment across western Victoria.”