UNITY Mining has denied residents' claims that the company has abandoned the Kangaroo Flat site, saying there is a lot of potential for exploration in the area.
After investing $400 million at the mine, the company ceased mining there three years ago and is trying to sell the site.
There were renewed calls from residents this week to clean up the site, but managing director Andrew McIlwain said rehabilitation would occur "when activities ended at the site", as per the contract.
Resident Mary Markey said Bendigo "had been forgotten by the company" and fears there is not enough money for rehabilitation.
But Mr McIlwain said $5.5 million in cash-backed bonds would be released when the time came.
"It is part of our obligation to clean up and we have definitely not walked away. It's just not time for rehabilitation," he said.
"We have parties interested in taking on ownership.
"It is a challenge because $400 million has been spent on it already.
"But we believe there is a bright future for exploration there."
Mr McIlwain said the company had $10 to $12 million in the market, with the stock price currently sitting at about one cent.
"We had plans to bring material from New South Wales to the Bendigo site but this fell into a 15-month hiatus because the Environmental Review Committee challenged regulators," he said.
"This would have brought jobs to Bendigo and even though DSDBI eventually said we were within our rights to do this, the horse had bolted for us and the opportunity was comprimised."
He said the mine had also carried out progressive rehabilitation at the Bendigo site and planted 4000 trees in unused areas.