A gold mine project has been rejected by the Victorian Government due to environmental and health concerns.
Crocodile Gold Corp’s Big Hill project was expected to produce 2.3 million tonnes of ore and operate for five years near the town of Stawell.
It was billed to replace the existing underground operation which is set to close.
But the project was knocked back after a government report found it would have negative impacts on air quality and public health.
The open cut mine’s boundary was set to be just 60 metres from the closest houses.
Victorian Planning Minster Matthew Guy said the risks outweighed any economic gains the project would bring to the town.
“The Environment Effects Statement process has determined that the proposed mine could have significant environmental impacts particularly in regard to air quality and public health," Guy said.
“The predicted economic benefits of the project do not outweigh the adverse impacts on air quality and the project does not provide the necessary community benefit to the State in regard to both short and long term economic, environmental and social consequences."
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor, Kevin Erwin said the decision could impact jobs, ABC reported.
"There's 120 jobs directly associated with the mine," Erwin said.
"They're probably in jeopardy, so we need some real assistance to create jobs from both State and Federal Government.”
Guy said it was the second time the proposal to develop Big Hill has been rejected.
“A similar proposal for Big Hill was considered in 2000 and was also unsuccessful due to environmental impacts,” Guy said.
“Although this new proposal would have less impact on biodiversity, the potential impacts on air quality, amenity and social well-being and risks to health of the community, especially nearby residents, is too great to ignore.”