Hepburn Shire Council recognises there is community concern about potential adverse environmental and social impact of exploratory mining activities following the Victorian Government’s decision to issue an exploratory license to Red Rock Mining.

The Victorian Government is the regulatory authority with responsibility for considering, granting or refusing mining licences of any nature. The process is managed and governed
through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

“Council believes the issuing of mining exploration licences near towns and potentially in high value environmental, tourism and agricultural land creates understandable community
concern,” said Mayor, Cr Brian Hood. “Council has had an introductory meeting with Red Rock Mining in which it emphasised the need to engage with the local community on their exploration activities,” he said.

Minerals exploration is different to mining. Explorers use mostly low-impact methods to understand local geology and look for evidence of minerals over a large area, then typically focus
activities on a smaller zone.

If a commercially viable deposit is identified a separate process toward mining would involve environmental assessment, a potential planning permit application and local community

“It is somewhat reassuring that prior to proceeding with any mining activity the exploration license holder is required to adhere to more thorough regulatory, community consultation,
geological and environmental approval processes,” said Cr Hood. “Exploration companies require landholder consent before accessing private land. I encourage anyone impacted to find out more about their rights at the Earth Resources website.”

Earth Resources is the Victorian Government regulator in the resources industry.

Before an explorer can access land, the landholder must provide consent. Earth Resources has developed a guide to help landholders and explorers reach an agreement to access private property for exploration activities. It includes a checklist for landholders and explorers about how to complete the agreement.

For a copy of the checklist and the draft agreement and for more information see www.earthresources.vic.gov.au/landaccess.