New guide for land access
Victorian Farmers Federation has welcomed a trial of a new guide helping landholders negotiate land access with mining explorers.
VFF president and Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said the guide, accessed via the State Government Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions website, would help both landholders and explorers.
“Farming and mining are both vital for the Victorian economy and rural employment,” he said.
“However, it’s critical that support is available to help landholders work with explorers, and that explorers better understand how to minimise impacts on farms.
“I thank the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions for working with the VFF as a key stakeholder, and for being willing to trial this new, consultative approach to land access.
“With clear and open communication and a mutual understanding of needs, farming and mining can co-exist and the whole community can benefit.
“The new guide provides clear guidance on issues such as setting farm biosecurity protocols, managing impacts on crops, compensation, and dispute resolution.
“It is important for farmers to understand that before an explorer can
access your land, you must provide consent.
“I encourage all farmers and landholders to read the new guide to commercial consent agreements before they begin discussing land access with explorers.
“We encourage all primary industries to consider how the different sectors can work together for mutual benefit of each party and regional communities.”
Much of western Victoria including the Wimmera-mallee is a target of intensive mineral exploration as prospecting firms search for gold, copper and other valuable metals on private land.
Victoria’s resources sector is growing, with investigations revealing more gold being found every year and more companies searching to see where mineral deposits might exist for potential development.
Demand for minerals such as gold and copper is increasing because they are key parts for technology and renewable energy products.
The trial of the land-access tools coincides with a new wave of minerals exploration in western Victoria across an area known in geological terms as the Stavely Arc.
Following last year’s Stavely Ground Release, the first of potentially six new Mineral Exploration Licences has been awarded.
The planned exploration spending across all six licence areas is expected to be more than $20-million, bringing a boost to regional towns through consumer activity.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed annual mineral exploration spending in Victoria grew to 47.8 percent to December 2018, compared with 32.6 percent growth for all of Australia during the same period.
Generally, early-stage exploration activities, such as mapping, sampling and rock testing, are the first steps in establishing if minerals are present.
If further development is considered to be economically viable, it takes many years to progress towards mining, including meeting strict regulatory controls.
Details of exploration in western Victoria and the landholder tools are at earthresources.vic.gov.au/landaccess.
DRILLING: Minerals exploration is occurring across western Victoria.