Rehabilitation of former Bendigo mine
Kralcopic Pty Ltd (Kralcopic), a wholly owned subsidiary of GBM Gold Ltd, previously held mining licences around Bendigo, including the Woodvale Evaporation Ponds Complex and sites in Kangaroo Flat, New Moon and Eaglehawk.
In August 2019, Earth Resources Regulation decided not to renew Kralcopic’s three mining licences, due to the company’s inability to provide surety that it could finance its mining activities and site rehabilitation obligations.
In October 2020, the company filed legal proceedings in the Supreme Court challenging the decision not to renew these licences.
The Supreme Court later upheld the regulator’s decision not to renew the licences.
At the beginning of March 2021, Kralcopic went into voluntary administration.
In April 2021, Kralcopic’s parent company, GBM Gold Ltd, submitted a proposal for a deed of company arrangement.
As the deed failed to address the company’s ongoing rehabilitation obligations, Earth Resources Regulation launched legal action to ensure the former mine sites would be properly rehabilitated to protect public health and safety.
On 23 April 2021, the Federal Court of Australia appointed KPMG as Kralcopic’s liquidators. This decision enables Earth Resources Regulation to continue to progress rehabilitation of the sites.
On 13 May 2021, the Victorian Supreme Court also confirmed that any plant and equipment on Kralcopic’s former mine sites became Crown property six months after Earth Resources Regulation decided not to renew the company’s licences.
On 14 May 2021, Kralcopic’s liquidators lodged papers with ASIC to disclaim Kralcopic’s freehold land at Woodvale Ponds and parcels of land around the company’s former Bendigo mine sites, with the land reverting to Crown land.
Earth Resources Regulation has put a statutory exemption in place to preclude new mining licence applications while we rehabilitate the sites. The exemption also provides an opportunity for government to consider future uses of the sites in consultation with the City of Greater Bendigo and the local community.
Earth Resources Regulation holds rehabilitation bonds totalling $5.9 million, which will be used to rehabilitate the former mine sites.
The regulator will engage an EPA-appointed environmental auditor to advise on the environmental standards required for the sites and specialists to scope the rehabilitation works, with tenders called to complete the works.
Earth Resources Regulation’s immediate focus is to continue monitoring and maintaining the former mining sites to protect public safety and the environment, while we work with the liquidator to address any remaining issues.
Earth Resources Regulation will continue to keep the nearby residents and the wider Bendigo community updated about the rehabilitation of the former mining sites.
We welcome your feedback.
Page last updated: 02 Jun 2021