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 Andrews Labor Government.
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.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes opened the International Mining and Resources Conference this morning, with over 7,000 mining leaders coming to Melbourne for the nation’s largest annual mining conference.
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.
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 Labor Government’s support of the event.
Companies are drawn to Melbourne’s lifestyle, infrastructure, skilled workforce, quality education and research institutions, and competitive business costs. Victoria is home to the headquarters of BHP, MMG, Oceanagold, Newcrest Mining, Alumina, Incitec Pivot, St Barbara and Orica, as well as Rio Tinto’s Asia Pacific headquarters.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes
“Gold helped build Victoria’s wealth and the industry remains integral to creating regional jobs.”
“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.”
Quote attributable to Group CEO Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Rodney Carter
“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.”