Licensing process for the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release

This infographic is an overview of the phases of completing the licensing process for the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release.

Tap on each Information symbol on the Infographic for more information.

Completing the licensing process

Successful tenderers announced and proceed to the licensing stage conducted by Earth Resources Regulation.

All tenderers are notified of the outcome of their submission.

Notice of tender acceptance is published in the Government Gazette with the area of land described and the associated Section 7 under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 exemption is revoked.

Within 14 days of a tender being accepted, Earth Resources Regulation will inform:

* Crown Land Managers
* Aboriginal Victoria
* Relevant Registered Aboriginal Parties

Relevant Registered Aboriginal Parties for the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release include:

* Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
* Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation
* Taungurung Land & Waters Council Aboriginal Corporation.

Within 14 days licence applicants must advertise they have applied for a licence.

The application will also be advertised on the Earth Resources website.

Licence applicants must advertise their application in a local newspaper and in a Wednesday edition of a statewide newspaper.

If no local newspaper exists, road signs may be erected (subject to appropriate approvals) and landholders within the licence area should be notified by letter.

Once advertising is complete, the public have 21 days to lodge submissions about the licence application.

Submissions can be lodged at earthresources.vic.gov.au or posted to the Minister for Resources.

All submissions are considered by the regulator prior to a decision.

A summary of public submissions can be viewed free of charge until the application is decided.

Earth Resources Regulation and/or the Minister for Planning (as Crown Land Minister) may recommend certain conditions be placed on a licence to address technical and/or community concerns.

Earth Resources must undertake a ‘future acts’ assessment under the Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth).

Licence applicants have options to:

* undertake a Right to Negotiate process to reach an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with a Native Title party
* comply with an existing Land Use Activity Agreement, if one exists
* excise all Crown land from their application except areas where Native Title has been extinguished
* Where Native Title has been extinguished within the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release area, the Department believes that responsible exploration and corporate responsibility involves collaboration and compensation with the relevant Registered Aboriginal Party

Licence applicants are assessed on ‘fit and proper person’ criteria, their program of work and financial capability.

A licence applicant cannot be deemed ‘a fit and proper person to hold a licence’, if they or an associate is:

* an insolvent under administration
* non-compliant with requirements to rehabilitate land
* has had a licence cancelled
* convicted of an offence under the MRSD Act
* convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty.

The regulator prepares a recommendation for the Minister for Resources to either grant or refuse a minerals exploration licence and may suggest conditions to be incorporated into a licence.

Two special licence conditions are likely to be imposed:

* that licensees engage Traditional Owners to undertake cultural heritage monitoring during exploration activity
* the Community Engagement Plan submitted in the tender is published on the licensee’s website.

Exploration licences must be granted within 90 days.

This excludes any time taken by the applicant to provide further information and the time taken by the applicant to comply with the Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth) or the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

Once licences are granted, the department and licensees continue engagement with local communities to increase understanding of minerals exploration and how it is regulated, landholder rights, and negotiating with minerals explorers.

Page last updated: 23 Jul 2021