North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release

Tender update – evaluation phase

Work is currently underway evaluating tender responses for minerals exploration rights, with a decision on successful tenderers expected in March 2021.

There was a strong response to the tender, with a higher than expected number of submissions received. This, along with constraints placed on existing processes due to COVID-19, has meant that additional time will be required to complete the evaluations.

Evaluation of tenders is being performed by the Independent Assessment Panel, supported by the Responsible Exploration Advisory Panel and the Traditional Owners Advisory Panel.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions recognises the importance of delivering a result that contributes to improved social licence for the exploration and minerals development sector.  A key pillar of our Minerals Strategy, building confident communities and embedding responsible exploration are key aspects of the tender.

The department will provide updates directly to proponents at key stages throughout the tender evaluation process.

Victoria has re-emerged internationally as a prime minerals exploration destination, particularly for gold. Increased gold exploration activity in recent years, especially within the goldfields region, has shown promising signs of the potential for new gold discoveries.

This, together with recent high-grade gold discoveries and production success at Fosterville (near Bendigo) highlights the potential for additional high grade, low cost gold discoveries and development opportunities within this region.

Most of the undiscovered gold in Victoria is likely to lie at greater depths than has previously been explored

The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that there may be up to 75 million ounces (Moz) of gold yet to find in the central and north central Victorian goldfields. This compares with the 80 million ounces of gold mined from the area over the past 160 years.

To explore this potential, the Government is releasing new minerals exploration licence areas within the north central goldfields region, via a merit based tender process.

Experienced and progressive minerals explorers with a history of, and commitment to responsible exploration were invited to tender for mineral exploration rights (subject to licensing) for one or more exploration licences over four large areas (blocks) of prospective ground, ranging in size from 327 and 512km2.

The process encourages experienced, progressive and responsible minerals explorers to compete in an open, international, merit-based tender.

The tender will enable us to identify the most suitable explorers – those with outstanding work programs, demonstrated corporate social responsibility and a solid commitment to working with Traditional Owners, local communities and landholders.

The tender opened on 29 October 2019 and closed on 14 February 2020.

More information

  • Explorers - discover more about the tender, industry briefings and geology.
  • Landholders and community - find out more about the tender and licensing process, landholder and explorer rights and obligations, information sessions and land access consent tools.

Map of the four blocks offered

Map North Central Victoria showing the four blocks offered minerals exploration; block 1 at the top of the North Central Victoria is 512km2, Block 2 in the middle of North Central Victoria is 327 km2, Block 3 is 334km2 and Block 4 which is long and thin, stretches from mid to North Central Victoria to the bottom near Myrtle Creek is 394km2.

Page last updated: 11 Aug 2020