Victorian Minister for Resources Tim Pallas has announced successful tenders for six local explorers in the Stavely mineral province of Western Victoria.
The six applicants are Westrock Minerals, Stavely Minerals, Gippsland Prospecting, Century Minerals, WIM Resources, and P.S and G.F Forwood.
These companies now have exclusive rights to apply for exploration licences at 11 blocks in the region, and will receive over $2 million in grants through the Victorian Government’s TARGET Minerals Exploration Initiative.
If successful, this could result in up to $20 million of exploration spending in the area.
The tender excludes coal and gas exploration, and the Grampians region, state parks and wilderness areas are off limits. The exploration also requires the involvement of local communities and will be closely regulated.
Minerals Council of Australia Victoria executive director Megan Davison congratulated the applicants, calling it a “positive sign of minerals industry interest in the future development of Victoria’s resources”.
Pallas, who was also responsible for granting a $600,000 exploration licence for Navarre Minerals’ St Arnaud gold project through TARGET, said that the six exploration companies would have to adhere to strict conditions before given the right to explore, including landowner approval and consultation with the community.
“If there is gold or copper in the Stavely Arc, these explorers will find it — which could lead to a major mining boom in western Victoria,” he said.
There has been a spike of interest in Victorian mining this year following exceptional exploration results from the likes of Kirkland Lake Gold.
The Canadian-based company was last week acknowledged for its success at the Fosterville gold mine, which won Australian Mine of the Year at the Prospect Awards last week.