Exploration land released for exploration in western Victoria

Australian Institute of Geoscientists > News > Exploration land released for exploration in western Victoria

More ground will soon be available for Minerals Exploration Licence applications in an area with copper, other base metals and minerals sands potential in western Victoria.

Access to land for exploration in the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative area was suspended by the Victorian government in 2015.

Through the 2018 Stavely Ground Release, 11 large blocks of land with a temporary hold on minerals activity were offered to the market and six blocks were awarded.

The remaining area, which totals over 11,000 square kilometres, covering parts of the Wimmera as well as areas north and east of Hamilton and around Mortlake, became available for minerals exploration licence applications from 2 May 2022.

Stavely Minerals Exploration Inititiative area, Western Victoria

Exploration will not be permitted in national parks, wilderness parks, or state parks. Explorers must obtain consent of landholders before accessing private property.

Between May and June 2022, the Geological Survey of Victoria will continue to hold information sessions about land access landholders’ rights and opportunities should an explorer seek access to their properties.

Through the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative, the department has taken an integrated approach between 2015 and 2022 to ensure:

  • responsible explorers are attracted to the Stavely Arc region in western Victoria, and
  • local communities and stakeholders in the area have a high degree of information and awareness of the initiative, landholder rights and environmental protections.

Key steps included:

  • Building on the long mineral exploration history of the region with new geoscientific investigations undertaken between 2015 and 2018. The research indicates there is potential for copper, other metals and gold in western Victoria. Read more about the Stavely geoscience project.
  • From 2015, the government progressively placed a hold on exploration applications for ground within the Stavely Project Area to enable the orderly and optimal development of the area. Read more about Section 7 exemptions.
  • Undertaking local community and stakeholder engagement to understand the factors important to local communities in the area. This includes informing landholders about their rights and supporting public confidence about future minerals exploration. Read more about the community engagement program.
  • Holding the Stavely Ground Release in 2018 through a competitive, merit-based tender. Six of the 11 blocks within the Stavely Project Area were awarded. Read more about the tender process.

The government announced that the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative is now effectively complete.

4 May 2022