Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio has approved the transfer of mining and exploration licences in Bendigo from Unity Mining to Kralcopic Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Bendigo-based company GBM Gold.
The licence transfer to GBM Gold will create 15 new jobs as the company expands its operations in Bendigo.
As a condition of the transfer, GBM Gold will be required to rehabilitate the two largest ponds at the Woodvale site within two years and can only send treated water to the site and for use in dust suppression.
The new operator has passed the fit-and-proper person test, meets financial stability standards to carry out the currently licensed mining activity and to pay the site’s assessed rehabilitation bond, as required under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.
GBM Gold intends to reprocess the contents of the mine’s sand and tailings waste to extract further gold that would otherwise be lost to mining by-product.
Reprocessing the tailings also helps with the progressive environmental rehabilitation of the mine site.
The rehabilitation works required as part of the licence transfer applies to ponds six and seven at the Woodvale site.
The two ponds cover around 80 hectares, which is about two-thirds of the entire evaporation ponds area.
GBM Gold will engage with the local community as it develops its work plan and Earth Resources Regulation, the mining regulator, will discuss site rehabilitation issues with the local community.
The work of the mining regulator in assessing the licence transfers has been reviewed by independent financial consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers.
The rehabilitation bond was also independently reviewed earlier this year by an EPA accredited auditor from environmental consultants AECOM, and increased to $5.948 million.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio
“It’s important the community has confidence that the Woodvale Ponds will be rehabilitated as part of this licence transfer.”
“This is a great outcome for local jobs, the environment and for the health and wellbeing of the community.”