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.
On 23 April 2021, the Federal Court of Australia appointed KPMG as Kralcopic’s liquidators.
On 14 May 2021, the liquidator’s 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.
Current status and environmental monitoring
Our immediate focus is to continue monitoring and maintaining the former mining sites to protect public safety and the environment.
In September 2021, we applied a polymer to the Kangaroo Flat site’s tailings dam (about 12,000 m2) to reduce dust emitted from the site, as we head into the warmer months.
The area covered is shown in the image below. The rest of the tailings dam will be covered in stages with waste rock mullock as part of the site’s rehabilitation works in accordance with the Kangaroo Flat Mine Closure Plan.
A video taken by staff shows no dust movement onsite despite the windy conditions, demonstrating that the polymer is working effectively.
The regulator will engage environmental auditors to advise on the environmental standards required to return the sites to safe, stable and sustainable landforms and specialists to scope the rehabilitation works. Tenders have been received for Kangaroo Flat and are being sought for Woodvale Ponds.
We are maintaining controls to prevent dust from the sites impacting on neighbours and have commissioned environmental consultants to conduct dust monitoring to ensure preventative measures are effective. Results from the monitoring indicate that dust levels are within background levels and comparable to results in 2018. Monthly dust monitoring will be ongoing and additional dust control measures are being planned for the coming drier months of summer.
Arsenic levels can be of concern at gold mine sites. Concentrations of arsenic in deposited dust at the sites were found to be acceptable.
The reports are available to download for both Kangaroo Flat and Woodvale Ponds.
In other activities, a dedicated project team and safety procedures are being put in place, the sites have been secured with regular patrols, and local service providers are being sought for site clean-up and restoration activities.
Earth Resources Regulation holds rehabilitation bonds totalling $5.9 million, which will be used to rehabilitate the former mine sites.
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: 30 Sep 2021