2018 Stavely ground release
On 22 June 2018, the department released ground (11 blocks) for minerals exploration in an area known in geological terms as the Stavely Arc.
The Stavely Ground Release tender formed part of a wider Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative. This initiative was established to encourage investment in minerals exploration while ensuring factors that are important to local communities were considered.
Tender to market
A competitive merit-based tender was held in 2018, with its promotion in Australia and overseas. The controlled process was explicit that it was seeking responsible minerals explorers with good work programs and a commitment to working with local communities and landholders to tender for one or more of the blocks on offer.
The successful companies were selected against pre-determined criteria assessed by an independent panel of experts and were then eligible to progress to obtain minerals exploration licences.
Priority was given to exploration for copper, gold, and other eligible metals. Exploration for coal and gas was not permitted under these exploration licences. (To be clear, the geology of the region does not support these commodities.)
During the tender, information sessions were held in nine towns across the Stavely Arc region. Department staff attended several agricultural events to meet landholders. These occasions provided opportunities for locals to find out more, and for the department to answer questions about minerals exploration and how it is regulated.
On 22 October 2018, the Victorian Government announced that the tenders of six companies had been successful and that these companies could apply for minerals exploration licences.
As of 1 March 2022, licences have been granted for five blocks. The remaining block is currently progressing through Native Title “future acts” assessment. A “future act” is any activity in relation to Crown land that may affect any Native Title Act 1993 right and interest and includes a grant of a licence over Crown land.
The department continues to engage throughout the licensing process. If companies gain an exploration licence, they are closely monitored by the Earth Resources Regulator to ensure their stakeholder engagement programs are maintained.
To accelerate exploration programs, several companies received TARGET minerals exploration grants.
A summary of each company, block location, proposed exploration program, and contact details are provided below:
|Block||Company name||Map and company details||Licence application number||Date licensed|
|1||Westrock Minerals Pty Ltd||EL006869||27 April 2020|
|3||Stavely Minerals Limited||EL006870||30 August 2021|
|4||Gippsland Prospecting Pty Ltd (Battery Minerals)||EL006871||15 October 2020|
|9||Century Minerals Pty Ltd||EL006872||Application under assessment|
|10||WIM Resource Pty Ltd||EL006873||23 September 2019|
|11||P.S & G.F Forwood Pty Ltd||EL006874||18 March 2019|
Page last updated: 01 Dec 2022