The Andrews Labor Government is making changes to strengthen Victoria’s resources guidelines and set a high standard for mineral explorers and miners entrusted with access to the state’s mineral resources.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today announced that a focus will be placed on minerals explorers and miners who can prove they are reputable, community-focused and set up appropriately for the duration of projects, including the full rehabilitation of sites around the state.
Now employing 120,000 people across Victoria, the state’s minerals exploration and mining sectors are growing steadily, and it is important to raise the bar on who can access state-owned minerals.
New assessment guidelines will make sure a company’s track record, and the records of its directors and executives, are examined when considering licensing decisions.
The new guidelines will provide greater assurance for farmers and communities that public safety, infrastructure and the environment will be protected when minerals explorers and miners work on both private and public land.
The changes will also benefit the sector by providing upfront and consistent information about how mining licence applications are assessed, making it easier for people with a good track record to apply.
These changes have been part of the process for assessing potential licensees for the Stavely Ground Release in western Victoria and will also be front and centre for the Lockington Ground Release in northern Victoria later this year. These programs are encouraging minerals exploration, the precursor to mining.
Last year the Labor Government launched Victoria’s first Mineral Resources Strategy, State of Discovery.
Victoria’s wealth was built on gold mining, and the resources industry is continuing to prosper across the state, increasing opportunities for exploration and development in regional areas.
Demand for minerals like gold and copper is increasing as they are key components for technology and renewable energy products, with up to 12 times more copper being used than in traditional generation technologies.
These new guidelines deliver a key theme of the strategy – building a minerals sector that creates jobs, particularly in regional Victoria, and giving communities across the state confidence in the sector.
As noted by Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes
“We’re raising the bar to make sure our mining sector employs the most qualified and reputable people to access our state’s mineral resources with a strong focus on supporting the communities they work in.”
“We’re attracting people to our minerals and mining industry with a strong track record of integrity and collaborating with the community, to ensure we can keep supporting local economies and creating Victorian jobs.”
As stated by State Manager Association of Mining and Exploration Companies Les Cox
“Setting clear and consistent guidelines upfront to assess whether a person is fit and proper to hold a licence helps to protect good operators and build community confidence.”