Application for Mining Licence at Shepherd's Flat in the Wombat Forest
Objections to the Shepherd's Flat Mining Licence must be in writing and delivered by Wednesday 29 January 2014
Please try to post by this Friday 24 January to make sure they get there on time.
Earth Resources Tenements
Department of State Development, Business & Innovation
GPO Box 4509
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Re: Application for a Mining Licence MIN5572, Shepherd¹s Flat, Victoria
State your objections. Do this in your own words and you may wish to discuss the environmental impacts as you see them.
Topics you may wish to include:
- Complete lack of community consultation, which is required by the MRSD Act Is an ad in the Age and the Courier (8 January) with a 3 week deadline for response community consultation? No public meeting called to explain the works.
- Damage to waterways (the old gold workings are in and along the creek)
- Mercury was used in historic gold recovery and any remaining mercury will be disturbed if exploration and mining takes place in the historic workings a health issue
- Damage to and removal of native vegetation in the Wombat State Forest including two endangered vegetation classes - Grassy Dry Forest (EVC 22 - Depleted) Valley Grassy Forest (EVC 47 Vulnerable)
- Endangered Flora & Fauna - Fauna species that are listed nearby include Powerful Owls and Brush-tail Phascogales, and will probably be on the site. Flora species found nearby include Grevillea repens & Dianella amoena.
- Ask for a comprehensive flora & fauna surveys prior to consideration being given to a licence.
- The proposed exploration as stated in the advertisement covers ³Costeaning, geological survey, drilling, bulk sampling and underground mining for gold. Costeaning and bulk sampling will cause environmental damage, particularly as ore bodies are probably in or abutting the waterways as evidenced by historic mining sites.
- What size bulk sample do they intend to take. The South Bullarto Mine was 5,000 tonnes.
- Sandy Mining Pty Ltd already have a mining licence for a 4 hectare area (MIN 4230) within the proposed area. We ask if they have adequately managed MIN4230. The GeoVic website states that there was a Mining Warden hearing in November 2011.
Mine Application Update
The Ballarat Office of the Earth Resource Business Centre (the Department in charge of mining) have said that acknowledgements of all objections have been mailed to the objectors including an outline of procedures.
They advise that, firstly, the applicant will need to address native title requirements. This can take as long as 18 months.
The department is now assessing the Mineralisation Report. They will consider the objections raised in the submissions to the Mining Lease Application by members of the public.
They advise that objections are usually dealt with in the Work Plan. (This is where we find a problem, as there is no opportunity for the public to have a say in the contents of a Work Plan)
All those who lodged objections will be notified regarding whether the licence has been granted or refused. They advise that it is not a given that the licence will be granted.
In October 2013, amendments to the Mining Act were passed and included increased requirements for community consultation. If a licence is granted, the licensee will need to put in place their community consultation which may include advertising in local papers or a website.
(We note that although there is a requirement for community consultation, there is nothing in the Act that says that the licensee needs to take this into consideration)