Update: This article was published on April 1st and readers should be cautious about taking it too seriously.
An application to establish a gold mine at Lake Daylesford has caused outrage among local residents.
The application for a mine on the eastern shore of the lake has been lodged by mining magnate, Clyde Plummer, who owns Plum Mining Corp.
Plummer claims he visited Daylesford recently and noticed alluvial gold in a tributary creek to the Lake while walking his bullmastiff, Klive, around the lake.
Plummer said, “Klive stopped for a pee near the creek that runs down the slope on the east side and to my amazement I spotted a fair size nugget twinkling in the water. The recent heavy rain must have washed sediment away and Klive and I just happened to be there at the right time. We immediately organised a mining survey and there is no doubt there is gold to be mined!”
Residents will have noticed the closure of the footpath around the Lake on Tuesday morning when geological sampling was conducted.
Plummer wants to put in a road from the Lederberg Track to the foreshore and put in a mining shaft running back toward Vincent Street. He is confident the mine would be minimally disruptive for the residents and the surrounding area. Plummer claims there would only be a very minor risk of a cave in on Vincent Street.
The mine shaft will take advantage of a prolific spring underneath the abandoned Rex building turning what was seen as a development obstacle into a mining asset.
“Gold is at $2600 an ounce and this mine will be a bonanza for Daylesford. The risks are worth the reward” Plummer said. “Daylesford needs to diversify its economy. Tourism will only get you so far and there is a good fit for mining with this town. It will put a bit of working class history back where it belongs.”
A local Save Our Lake Daylesford (SOLD) group has already formed to fight the proposal. Retired academic, Hubert de Crepes, the SOLD convener said, “This proposal will destroy a heritage site enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of tourists and, of course, locals each year. The Lake should be protected and extended not trashed by carpet baggers like Plummer.”
SOLD intends to hold a public meeting to combat Plummer’s proposal. It will call on the Hepburn Shire to initiate an immediate community consultation to consider the future of the Lake. One of the more radical demands is that the Lake be extended to the South for a nature reserve and made pedestrian and cyclist friendly by closing Bleakley Street.
Council is likely to agree to a community consultation over the next two to three years focused on informing the community about the history of mining in Daylesford. Pop-up meetings and online surveys are being planned.
It is expected that an in-principle motion to determine the future of mining at Lake Daylesford will be considered by Council on April 1, 2025.