In 2015, two independent reviews were commissioned by Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) to help understand community concerns and independently evaluate the mine's environmental performance.
Stawell Gold Mine Community Concerns Review
Firelight Consulting conducted a review of community concerns about Stawell Gold Mines (SGM) Stawell Gold Mine, Community Concerns Review, Firelight Consulting, December 2015.
The review was conducted to clarify the community's perceptions and concerns with SGM's operational activities.
The review included input from 474 residents and business owners from the local community.
Data collection involved:
- individual meetings
- phone survey
- face-to-face interviews.
The report concluded:
- Seventy-one per cent of respondents were not concerned or mildly concerned about SGMs mining operations. The remaining respondents were quite or very concerned about current mining practices.
- The top six concerns (in order of concern), were tailings dam impacts, blasting, air quality generally, air quality specifically from the ventilation shafts, general uncertainty and division in the town and general health concerns.
- Of those not concerned, the two main sentiments were that they simply didn't think there was anything worrying or concerning about the current mining practices (37.9%) or they believed that without SGM, the town of Stawell would falter (34.3%).
- Of those concerned, the majority stated that they were 'not opposed to mining', however were concerned about perceptions of them in the wider community as being 'against mining'.
One consistent, community concern identified, was the uncertainty about the proposed Big Hill open cut mine.
Stawell Gold Mine Review of Environmental Performance
GHD conducted a review of SGMs environmental performance Stawell Gold Mine, Review of Environmental Performance, GHD.
The review was conducted to assess SGM's environment, compliance.
The review was conducted to assess risks and impacts to the community and environment.
GHD did not identify any non-compliance in the operations of the mine, but made recommendations to improve understanding of how the mine's operations affect air, land and water quality (surface and groundwater) through improved environmental monitoring.
Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) issued three Remedial Notices (Notice) requiring SGM to address the recommendations of the Beck Report by GHD.
A fourth Notice was issued to address a dust incident at the Tailings Storage Facility.