A COMPANY wishing to revitalise gold exploration in central Victoria has applied for an exploration licence of a 118-km2 wide area, encompassing Daylesford and Hepburn.
The Vic Gold Company Pty Ltd, registered to an address in Western Australia, has applied for two exploration licenses in the region, covering the extensive area between Castlemaine to Ballarat.
The company's website states Vic Gold was established in 2018 with the purpose to "revitalise gold exploration around the historic Daylesford mining district".
The company is headed by Martin Bennett, who is also technical director of Kalgoorlie Mining, and Michael Hannington, a geophysicist who is also the director of Tin Htay International Pty Ltd and executive chairman of Redbank Copper Limited.
"We aim to acquire exploration projects in Victoria and use modern exploration and evaluation techniques to search for the next generation of gold mines in Central Victoria," the website says.
The application to Earth Resources Regulation, to explore for minerals, would mean the company could undertake geological surveys of the area.
If requirements are satisfied and the exploration licence granted, the company would be able to explore and search for minerals but would not be able to mine.
"Any resulting targets will be ranked, with higher priority targets to be drill tested and reviewed, with consideration to a number of parameters (exploration, environmental, community etc.)," the notice of application reads.
A government spokesperson said all mineral exploration projects in Victoria were required to observe strict environmental safeguards and to consult with the local community.
The spokesperson said that only a small percentage of mineral exploration activities lead to mining, with many regulatory steps and opportunities for the community to give their input.
The government has dedicated legislation regarding exploration and minerals development providing specific safeguards for a broad range of matters and features important to local communities, such as the environment, Indigenous heritage, water, land, wildlife, Native Title, flora and fauna, biodiversity and water catchment.
Hepburn Shire Council chief executive Evan King said the council was aware of the application but had no involvement, as it was the responsibility of the Minister for Resources.
"A planning permit from council would only be required for the extraction of any minerals/materials," he said.
"There are currently many active exploration licences in the region, the majority with little or no activity. Council would deal with any new proposed ventures if a permit for extraction was required."
Vic Gold did not respond to a request for comment, stating it would provide more information about the plans for the area in due course.
This proposal is now open for public comment. To have your say, visit: earthresources.vic.gov.au/exploration.
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