Video transcript: Stavely Block 3 Community Information Session 2

Stavely ground release, Block 3 - information session 2

[Slide: Minerals exploration in Western Victoria, Stavely Ground Release Block 3]

Annie Farrow, Manager Resource Strategy and Industry Investment

Welcome everybody to the second of two sessions that is being organised by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions for landholders and community members in an area west of Ararat that we refer to as Block 3 from the Stavely Ground Release.

We’ll come back to that at a later point.

My name is Annie Farrow, I manage a small team called Minerals Development Victoria within the department, and I’d like to thank you for coming along and making the time to take out from your Thursday evening.

I’d like to start before we do some housekeeping and then running you through the agenda, I’d like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners, and from the lands from which I’m coming that is the Wurundjeri people and Kulin nations people, and I pay my respects to Elders past, present and future.

As you’re all coming from various places across Victoria this evening I’d invite you all to take a moment and pay your respects for those traditional owners from the relevant lands from where you’re joining us.

I’d also like to acknowledge any elected officials from state, local and federal government that may have joined us, particularly local councillors from Moyne Shire Council and Ararat City Council, so welcome to those.

Now, I’m really quite excited about tonight’s session, it has been a long time coming.

We, you may remember, some of you may remember me, we came out to Willaura and visited various places around what we call as the Stavely Ground Release, and we provided some information about minerals exploration back in 2018-2019.

We did say back then that we would return once the licensees were licenced, and recently Stavely Minerals, whom you will hear from a bit later on this evening, was licenced to explore for minerals in this area known as Block 3.

So we are back, and I did promise in 2018-2019 that we would return and explain minerals exploration a little bit more, but also to introduce you to a tool that would help you negotiate land access consent with the licensee, so I’ve kept that promise and I’m pleased to be joining you.

I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not live but we all know COVID has turned our lives upside down, so I’m sorry that it is online.

I might just move now to some housekeeping.

[Slide: Microsoft Teams - Asking a question]

You’re all actually in a listen only mode tonight and that means that we can’t see you which is a bit disconcerting for the presenters, but we do know that you’re there.

But it does not mean that you cannot ask a question and we really welcome as many questions as you would like to put to us, and you would do that by clicking on the speech bubble which should be at the top of your menu bar, or go to, on the right-hand side right down the bottom you should see a blue square that says ‘ask a question’ and you can push that.

And you can write in your question there, please try and ask them at the time when you think of them.

We’ll be watching and monitoring those questions as we go through so that we try and keep our answers at the end of the evening session, we’ll keep them quite succinctly but we will come back with answers to any questions that we can’t get through tonight if there is a particularly large number of them, and we will provide you links after in the coming sort of week or so, to the answers to those questions.

You’ll also get some notification in presentations, particularly from the department and Stavely Minerals, about contact details and to web addresses, you won’t need to scribble those down because Donna will be able to email you those responses and that information later on.

If you accidently leave or the internet gremlin attacks you, you can always come back in tonight by going through the same mechanism that you came in now.

If you have real problems then please phone my colleague John, his mobile number is on the bottom of that slide, so you might want to just scribble his number down now, and he will also put it in the chat of the dialogue box area so that you have that on hand.

[Slide: Agenda]

So just quickly, tonight we’re really hoping to cover some questions that are typical, that are posed by communities and landholders when we come out and talk about minerals exploration.

We’ll have speakers Brett Millsom and Donna Mongan from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and you’ll also hear from Lyall Grey, Stephen Johnson and Sarah Heard from Stavely Minerals.

In terms of what you can expect we’ll provide an overview of minerals exploration and the Stavely Ground Release, as I said the catalyst for why we’re here.

You’ll also hear about the tool that we’ve developed to support you as landholders about your land access consent negotiations.

Then we’ll hand over to Stavely Minerals and they’ll explain to you what we’re looking for and what their exploration program might look like, and a little bit about exploration in general and their commitments to communicate with the local community.

Then there’ll be question time at the end as I’ve already stated, so I think we might just get straight into it now.

So I’m going to introduce you to my colleague Brett Millsom, he is the Manager of Stakeholder and Community Engagement for Minerals Development Victoria.

Please Brett go ahead.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thanks Annie.

[Slide: Exploration Licences Victoria]

Before we start tonight talking about minerals exploration and what it is and what you might be able to expect to see in and around this block that has been awarded to Stavely Minerals as a part of the Stavely Ground Release, it’s probably just worthwhile I think taking stock a bit and reflecting on Victoria’s minerals exploration history.

Now minerals exploration activity in Victoria and mineral discoveries have been going on for certainly decades if not centuries.

As many of you would be aware Victoria does have quite a rich mining history that dates back to the gold rushes, and since then minerals exploration is something that has really occurred in various parts of the state and across the state since then.

You might be looking at this map and wondering this evening what do all of those little sort of oddly shaped red outlines represent, well they’re in fact actually current minerals exploration tenements in Victoria.

There is quite a number of them as you can see, in fact currently at the moment 45%, or approximately 45% of Victoria is subject to, or covered by a minerals exploration licence, and that’s tracking probably a little bit higher than where kind of the percentage of the state that would normally be subject to a licence, it’s generally, often we found previously somewhere around 35-40% mark, but we have seen that go up a little bit over the course of the last couple of years.

You may or may not be aware that Victoria is currently experiencing record levels of industry investment in minerals exploration, and that probably accounts, in some parts, for this slight increase in the parts of the state that are under an exploration licence.

So it is something that’s been happening across the state for a large amount of time.

I think one of the really important points to note here is that minerals exploration activity and mining activity are two very different things, and there’s two very different sets of authorisations and permission that are needed to undertake those things.

So all of those red boxes that you can see on that map in front of you, minerals exploration is permitted in those, however, and this is an important distinction to note, mining activity is not permitted in those.

You aren’t able to undertake or conduct any mining activity on a minerals exploration licence, you require a mining licence for that, and a little bit later on this evening I’ll come to, you know, how you might go about potentially progressing from an exploration licence to a mining licence if that happened to viable, but importantly note that mining activity can’t be conducted on a minerals exploration licence and the footprint of mining activity in this state is much, much, much less than 45%, in fact it’s something like only 0.02% of the state that has a mining footprint on it.

[Slide: The Stavely Ground Release]

So the Stavely Ground Release, really the catalyst for what brings us here tonight, you might have heard Annie mention this earlier and it was really in 2018 an initiative of the Victorian Government that released 11 blocks of ground in western Victoria for minerals exploration activity, in an area that was known in geological terms as the Stavely Arc.

Now, this particular area based on some recent geoscience research that had been done by the Geological Survey Victoria, now that’s the state’s geoscience research arm and all states and territories have their own geological survey, but work done by the Geological Survey Victoria had indicated that this particular part of western Victoria was showing some potential prospectivity for copper, gold and other base metals, and so a competitive merit-based tender was held, and undertaken, to encourage responsible minerals explorers to essentially bid and put forward a bid for that ground, for those blocks.

And as a result of that tender six companies were successful in securing a block from that ground release, one of those companies being Stavely Minerals who joins us tonight and who you’ll hear from a bit later on.

And as of today licences have been granted for five of those blocks, the most recent of which was Stavely Minerals being granted Block 3 a few weeks ago, and the remaining one of those blocks is currently progressing through the native title assessment process.

[Slide: Minerals exploration Stavely Block 3]

So you might be wondering where in fact is this block and this licence that we’re referring to, Stavely’s licence, well you can see a picture of it there on your screens on that map on the left, there is a higher resolution version of this map on our website that you’ll be able to download and we’ll look to circulate it in some of the material that’s provided to you over the coming days and weeks following this session.

But it is an area that covers 865 square kilometres, I won’t go into too much detail about what Stavely’s plans are in terms of their exploration on this licence because they’re far better placed to talk about that than I am, and you’ll hear from them a little bit later on.

But there’s 906 properties within this block, and in fact that might be how some of you were notified of this licence, because we, when I say we I mean the department, did a mail out to all landholders within this block notifying them of the recent granting of this licence and inviting you to attend one of two information sessions we’re holding, the second of which is tonight, the first of which we delivered yesterday afternoon.

One of the other key reasons we’re here to night, and what we want to talk about, is land access consent, so exploration is very targeted and selective and iterative in its nature, but over the course of an exploration program a minerals explorer will generally seek consent from a very small number of private landholders to access their property to undertake minerals exploration activities.

I really want to stress that generally is a very small number of landholders that find themselves in that position that are approached by the explorer or have the explorer knock on the door looking to access their property, and they are required to obtain your consent to do that if they wish to access your property.

Now you might be starting to think to yourself well what should I do if I’m approached by an explorer, what tools might be available to support me in having those discussions and negotiations with the explorer, and my colleague Donna Morgan will join us shortly to talk in a bit more detail about some of those tools that are available.

But I think the really important point to stress here is it’s a very, very small number of landholders that are approached for access to their property.

[Slide: Minerals exploration - What does minerals exploration mean for landholders in the Stavely Block 3 area?]

I think it is also important to understand what minerals exploration is, and I think we often see individuals sometimes confuse minerals exploration with mining activity, I mentioned that the two are very different but we often find people also asking well what might I actually sort of see or observe or witness if there’s a minerals exploration licence that covers my property.

And the short answer to that is really not much at all, there’s certainly many people in Victoria that have a licence over their property that wouldn’t even know about it and don’t even know about it.

Really all you will expect, or you could reasonably expect to see is maybe the occasional trucks and vehicles in town and around the licence area that provide the, you know, the technical equipment and the like that the explorer needs to undertake their exploration program.

There is a small economic benefit from an exploration program in terms employees of the explorer, contractors of the explorer spending money locally on things like food and fuel at local service stations, accommodation and repairs at say local workshops, and again as I mentioned earlier, a very small number of landholders are asked for consent to access their properties by the explorer to undertake minerals exploration.

[Slide: Minerals exploration, exploring for minerals - gold, copper, other base metals]

If we’re talking about what minerals exploration is, I think it’s also important to talk about what it isn’t and what isn’t permitted under these licences that have been awarded as a part of the Stavely Ground Release.

So there’s no exploration for onshore gas or for coal as a part of these exploration licences.

You may be familiar with the fact that from 1 July this year the Victorian Government has commenced an orderly restart of the onshore conventional gas industry, but onshore gas is not listed as a commodity on the licences that have been issued as a part of this ground release, and therefore there’s no exploration permitted for onshore gas nor for coal.

Fracking is prohibited for any exploration activity for onshore gas although it’s not all that applicable here because there can’t be exploration done for onshore gas in the first place, but even if it was permitted fracking is banned under legislation in Victoria, and there’s no minerals exploration activity permitted in national parks such as the Grampians or state parks such as the Arapiles.

[Slide: Special places, features safeguarded]

Minerals exploration has co-existed for a number of years with a whole number of other land uses, the most notable of which of those is probably agriculture and there’s a really good reason for that, and that is the fact that minerals exploration operates under a highly regulated regime in Victoria and that there’s more than 20 Acts that legislate mineral exploration activities and provide the framework that guides what can and can’t be done as a part of mineral exploration programs.

So the most critical of those Acts is the one towards the top left of your screen there in the larger blue font, the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act or what we call the MRSDA, and the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Minerals industries Regulations which provide the support.

I guess the legislation and the regulation that provides the oversight of minerals exploration in Victoria, but they are not the only ones.

There’s a whole number of other Acts on your screen there that extend all sorts of protections to things like Aboriginal cultural heritage, to flora and fauna, to waterways, and so on and so forth, and it’s really important to stress here that it is a requirement of the explorer to comply with all Acts and legislation that are relevant to them and their activities, not just the MRSDA or the Minerals Resources Sustainable Development Act.

Explorers are required to comply with all relevant Acts relevant to their work.

[Slide: Timelines and conversion rates]

So I mentioned earlier that minerals exploration activity and mining are very different things, but we also often hear from communities well isn’t minerals exploration a precursor to mining activity, and if I’ve got a minerals exploration licence over my property won’t that just ultimately be developed into a mine in x amount of years’ time.

Look, the most likely answer to that and realistic answer to that is probably not.

Minerals exploration activity doesn’t often progress beyond anything further than just that, you know, the exploration program is undertaken and it doesn’t progress any further.

We put the estimate at somewhere in the order of 1in 300 minerals exploration licences in Victoria resulting in the discovery of an economically viable resource deposit that could be mined.

But if you talk many within industry they’re probably a little bit more conservative in their estimates and I’ve heard numbers such as 1 in 600 or even 1 in a 1,000 as the conversion rate from an exploration licence identifying an economically viable deposit that could be mined.

And even if that deposit was identified less than half of those will ever get developed because of various reasons associated with, I guess, the viability of being able to actually mine the resource.

And the other important point to stress here is that there’s quite a long lead time between exploration and mining if it was to progress to that, so 12 years is the average time between a discovery occurring and the, I guess, the commencement of a commercially operating mine.

And there’s a whole number of approvals that are required to allow that to occur and water that needs to go under the bridge before it gets to that point.

You will most likely find that there’ll be a requirement to prepare and Environment Effect Statement which is a comprehensive process to look at the potential environmental impacts of a project.

There’ll be extensive community and stakeholder engagement.

There would be a whole bunch of technical studies done both to understand in further detail the deposit, but also how it might be mined and the potential impacts that might be associated with that and so on and so forth, so there is quite a long lead time between exploration activity and mining if in fact it was at all to progress to that.

The one sort of small distinction I should make here is that mineral sand, which is a different commodity, and isn’t listed on the licence we’re talking about here tonight, but that is a much shorter lead time from exploration to mining, but I’m not going to spend any time going into detail on that because that’s not why we’re here tonight.

[Slide: Negotiating land access and compensation]

So there’s still that question probably some of you have around well what happens and what’s available to support me if I do find myself in that small number of landholders that is approached by the explorer looking to access my property to undertake their exploration program.

Now, I should note here that in Victoria, and this is the case with all other states and jurisdictions within Australia, the Crown or the State owns the minerals on behalf of all Victorians, and when a minerals exploration licence is issued that licence gives the explorer the right to undertake their exploration program over freehold land as well as Crown land.

However, if the explorer does want to undertake that program over freehold land it must seek and obtain the permission of the landholder to do so.

And at that point I might introduce my colleague Donna Mongan who’s here tonight to talk in a bit further detail about the land access consent tool that we’ve developed, and some further detail about land access consent as a part of minerals exploration in general.

So welcome Donna.

Donna Mongan, Senior Community Engagement Officer

Thanks Brett.

[Slide: Commercial Consent Agreement]

Hello everyone, I’m Donna Mongan, Senior Engagement Officer with Minerals Development Victoria.

As Annie mentioned, another purpose of this session is to introduce a tool that’s been developed by the department in conjunction with the Victorian Farmers Federation, so I’m really talking to agricultural landholders here tonight who might be approached at some time by Stavely Minerals, or if you happen to live in another area other explorers.

Even if you never get approached by an explorer it’s a handy document to have to get your grip around the conditions under which someone can enter your property.

This tool has been developed to help landholders and explorers discuss and agree on access to property for minerals exploration.

We call it a tool but it’s really more of a commercial contract template supported by a guide.

The clauses in this template provide talking points you can use to negotiate consent.

One thing to remember about this tool is that it’s not mandatory to use it.

You might decide to use our tool or one you prepare yourself.

You might get one from your Ag consultant or legal people, or may end up using a version the explorer provides, it’s really up to you which you prefer, and it’s all down to, boiling down to what works best for the parties involved.

If you don’t plan on using our template that’s fine but it can still serve as a conversation starter with the explorer.

It will quickly bring to mind any special conditions you might want to consider imposing as a part an agreement, things like heritage listing, or for a trust for nature governance or other conditions that are specific to your property.

It’s really about taking stock of what’s absolutely critical to how you run your business, with so many requirements and regulations imposed on our agricultural sector nowadays, especially on those farmers who export.

It’s a very flexible document to use, not everything in it will be relevant to you or your business or landholding, that’s important to consider that on the flipside not everything will be relevant to the explorer either and the activities that they may wish to undertake.

[Slide: Commercial consent agreement clauses]

By law an explorer must ensure their programs minimise interference with other activities taking place on the land.

There are also conditions worth thinking about that are not as common and would be specific to your property and your operation.

These could be for example reinforcing your property’s biosecurity, or other stringent requirements you might have.

This might relate to vehicle cleanliness, soil management, or protecting important flora and fauna, and also access during critical times such as lambing, calving and cropping seasons.

I think you should list them all and bring them up in your conversations, you may be able to cross them off at later date but it’s important that you jot them all down.

I’ll email you all a link to the tool which is on our website.

We normally hand out packs when we do these live sessions, but if you prefer I can mail one to you, it’s no problem at all.

[Slide: Compensation]

An explorer might not want to consider compensation as a matter right at the start, compensations paid as part of an agreement which will only equate to loss of income you suffer or the loss of amenity you sustain from exploration activities.

An explorer might not want to establish a compensation agreement at the start because they might be only doing low impact work that won’t have any impact whatsoever on your income or your amenity.

You don’t cut a portion of the value of the minerals on your land, because at this stage the Crown still owns those minerals on behalf of Victoria.

And remember, compensation is not just about money, you can negotiate with the explorer on a whole bunch of things from fencing, to road resurfacing, to farm equipment and so on and so forth.

There might come a time perhaps when the explorer cannot progress the program until they secure an approved work plan from Earth Resources Regulation.

At that point in time they must obtain a written compensation agreement from the landholder in question.

A compensation agreement is very different to a consent agreement and there’s reasons for that, because with these you and the explorer may decide to establish compensation mechanisms upfront, or you might decide to wait until the explorer needs one under the legislation, either way the tool comes in handy first working through consent, then with compensation, as you will be able to identify what works for you and for your circumstances, and then you’ll be better placed to have that open and honest discussion to get the best outcomes for both of you.

[Slide: Professional advice]

So, if you’re uncomfortable about how to work with explorers you might consider professional advice when it comes to these big matters.

That could be advice from your solicitors, or accountants, or agricultural advisor.

Some of us don’t have any of these but we can certainly help put you in touch with those who might be able to help you negotiate and you can work it out with the explorer on that score.

The government has an expectation the explorer should reimburse you for any reasonable costs associated with obtaining that advice.

Over the course of the past few years we’ve held sessions within the region with such advisors so many of them are aware of this tool and of the Stavely Release more broadly.

[Slide: Dispute settlement]

So now dispute settlements, one of the questions we’re often asked is can I refuse entry to my property.

I think Brett, you did indicate that the Crown, the government owns the minerals, maybe I did, but certainly that needs to be established right from the start that the Crown owns the minerals on behalf of the people, an Act of parliament and in this case it’s the Minerals Resources Sustainable Development Act, it’s a big mouthful I know, we referred to that earlier.

That gives the government the right to grant licences to companies to search for minerals and the companies can undertake that search on both Crown land and freehold land.

But the Act is silent on the matter of landholder rights, landholders and occupiers do not have absolute power to control access to their private property, but an explorer must gain your informed consent to enter your property.

An agreement to access your property must be reached and must be in place.

If an agreement can’t be reached then an explorer may indeed take you to VCAT or the Supreme Court.

The Act states, or rather suggests, that VCAT and the Supreme Court would only determine how much compensation you’re entitled to.

These institutions cannot decide from whether or not an explorer has the right to enter your property that is sort of taken rather than is given, if that makes sense.

So that said most explorers won’t want to cause anyone angst, they will reassess, they will reassure, they’ll look at their exploration targets and they’ll work with you.

Sometimes they may have sufficient flexibility to work instead in other areas like on a roadside or on a neighbour’s property but sometimes not, and they’ll try and negotiate a deal with you.

So I think it’s in everybody’s interest to try to sit down and come to some kind of agreement rather than heading off in on a legal track.

I suggest you watch our landholder video, I’ll send you the link, this really shows real farmers and real explorers, not actors, talking about getting on with it, gives you an idea that it’s not such a trial to undertake.

We do appreciate there’ll be times when an agreement just can’t be reached so the tool also provides contact details for mediation through independent dispute resolution services, these are such as Victorian Small Business Commission and the Mining Warden.

[Slide: Community engagement requirements]

So just in closing and before I hand the floor over to Stavely Minerals, before I do that I just wanted to make sure you’re aware of the explorer’s obligations for informing the community.

As a part of the minerals exploration licence they’re required to share information about their plans and programs.

They must also give landholders and communities ample opportunity to express their views and feedback.

Lyall Grey, who you’ll hear from in a minute, he’s Stavely Mineral’s Stakeholder Relations Manager.

He lives in the western district and as Stavely Minerals holds other exploration licences in the area he and other members of the team, who are also locals like Sarah Heard, might already be known to many of you.

Lyall’s there to raise the company’s awareness of the community’s expectations.

He will share details on how you can get in touch with Stavely Minerals, their details are also on our Earth Resources website.

In terms of the department we’re all more than happy to help wherever we can, and as I said will help to make sure that we keep you informed about the work we’re doing in the area.

[Slide: Further information]

My contact details should be up on the slide at the moment, and we hope our presentation helped provide sufficient information on minerals exploration and the Stavely Ground Release.

There’ll be opportunities for questions at the end of the presentation, but if after the presentation you think of a question no matter how great or small, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If we don’t know the answer we’re more than happy to help facilitate following that up.

We’re also happy to organise group meetings in person now restrictions are easing.

We publish a regular Stavely newsletter and I would ask that you can sign up for that on our website if you want details of how to do that I’m happy to help.

I’d like to handover to Stavely Minerals now, so that’s Lyall Grey, Stephen Johnson and Sarah Heard, over to you guys.

Lyall Grey, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Stavely Minerals

Thanks Annie, Brett and Donna.

[Slide: Stavely Minerals presenters]

Hello everyone, this evening you’ll hear from three of the Stavely Minerals team, our Exploration Manager Steve Johnson, Senior Geologist Sarah Heard who’s also a local farmer and has strong family links to the area, and me our Stakeholder Relations Manager.

My contact details are up there because I’m the go-to person if you have any questions or concerns.

I was born in Hamilton and raised on a farm north of Branxholme.

Some of you will know me already from either my time as a Photo Journalist with Stock and Land newspaper, Communications Director with the Victorian Farmers Federation, or my various roles with the CFA including working in incident control centres during major fires and floods, the Community Education Officer across southwest Victoria, or even as an active volunteer firefighter and Captain of the Yulecart Brigade.

[Slide: Stavely Minerals 2]

My role as Stakeholder Relations Manager is to effectively ensure communications engagement at all levels including private landholders, local communities, agriculture networks and land care groups, local government and relevant government agencies.

While COVID-19 has made it impossible for us to hold public briefings on our exploration activities we have introduced a quarterly newsletter and that is distributed through local shops and via email, and I encourage all of you to register on our website, stavely.com.au, to receive the community newsletter via email.

Under the community tab also on the website you’ll find information sheets covering topics such as:

  • What is minerals exploration?
  • Exploration to Mining, the steps that we need to take if we were to go there.
  • Noise mitigation, what we do to reduce noise.
  • Fire prevention, which is going to be important as we approach summer.
  • Rehabilitation of drill sites.
  • And frequently asked questions.

There’s also a section on the minerals exploration techniques with videos of what we’ve been doing in the area to date around Stavely.

These show various drilling methods that we’ve been using and what the area looks like after we’ve finished, and that’s an important one for all of us.

Now I will stress that the community briefings will resume as soon as the COVID restrictions allow, we do want to get out there and meet with you and give you an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about what we’re doing.

[Slide: Who is Stavely Minerals?]

So who is Stavely Minerals?

Stavely Minerals is a committed explorer focused on making mineral discoveries in this region and has been doing that since 2013, so we’re not new to the area.

We have built a strong reputation for integrity, honesty and transparency.

We deal with all stakeholders with respect and fairness and seek to protect the environment and enrich the communities in which we work.

To date Stavely Minerals has spent more than $43 million on minerals exploration in this region, with the vast majority of it spent on Victorian employees, Victorian suppliers and Victorian contractors.

We had a recent breakthrough in 2019 with an outstanding shallow, high grade, copper, gold, silver discovery called the Cayley Lode.

This area has the potential for multiple discovery opportunities which is why we’re looking at Block 3.

There is much work for us to do yet, but our work could bring significant benefits to the region with local employment opportunities and stimulating local industries.

[Slide: Why are we looking for minerals?]

One of the questions I think we all ask is but why do we need to explore for minerals?

And I will say now nearly everything we use each day began life either as a mineral or was grown, your car, television, PC, mobile phone and power supply are all made with materials derived from minerals.

Exploration is an essential first step in finding the minerals society needs to meet the increasing demand that we have, not just to maintain our current lifestyle in homes, businesses and industries, but also to achieve our vision for a low-carbon future.

Copper is the ultimate future-facing commodity.

Alternative energy solutions such as solar and wind for renewal energy generation requires certain strategic minerals including copper.

Electric vehicles have four times more copper than a conventional vehicle.

And the average wind farm, wind farm turbine, contains four tonnes of copper.

Mineral exploration has been an important part for Victoria’s economy dating back to the gold rush in the 1850s.

It continues to boost local towns by providing regional employment through expenditure on a range of goods and services, accommodation, fuel and much more.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves, as you heard earlier there is a very big difference between minerals exploration and mining.

Block 3 is a very large area of 865 square kilometres and we need to target our exploration to specific areas, so as said earlier we won’t be exploring on every one of those farms in the area, only a small number of agricultural landholders will be approached for access.

And, if I do contact you I will bring an access agreement that is based very heavily on the government’s access tool you’ve already heard about.

I will now hand over to Steve and Sarah to talk about what’s so special about this area.

Thanks Steve.

Stephen Johnson, Exploration Manager, Stavely Minerals

Thanks Lyall.

[Slide: Why EL6870 is considered prospective?]

Yeah, as Lyall said my name is Steve Johnson, I’m the Exploration Manager tasked with discovery and exploration in the western Victorian exploration team tenement package.

In order to understand why EL6870 is prospective, which is what Block 3 has become since it was awarded to us, we really have to go and point to our recent discovery at the Cayley Lode.

As Brett indicated earlier on in this presentation, discoveries are incredibly rare, very common as a geologist to go through your entire career and never make one, and I was actually lucky enough (a) to be involved in the discovery and (b) to be on the drill rig when this rock in this photo on the left there came out of the ground.

It really is a spectacular intercept.

So it was 32 metres at 5.8% copper, one gram per tonne gold and 58 grams for tonne silver, so it really was an outstanding result for the company.

But what we know when we look at deposits across the world is that once you get onto a discovery the probability of success in the surrounding region goes up, and given those odds that Brett was just talking about, it’s really important as explorers that we explore in areas where we believe the odds are the best.

It was a really great piece of foundation geoscience done by the Victorian Geological Survey and in conjunction with Geoscience Australia, and they demonstrated that this part of Victoria was in 500 million years ago, was the same geological environment as we see in the Andes of South America today.

It’s quite amazing to think that the rocks underneath the canola paddocks in this district hide volcanoes and ancient mountain ranges from 500 million years ago.

[Slide: What are we looking for? - Geological Model]

So as I just alluded to the magnetic arc system in the Stavely district was operating 500 million years ago and it was forming a volcanic mountain chain, and so the modern sort of analogue to that is the Ring of Fire that runs up through the western margin of South America and wraps around the Pacific and into Indonesia.

So those subduction zones which are driving the formation of big molten rock intrusions, and these intrusions like granite introduce hot magma as well as fluids that were carrying copper.

It’s these fluids that we’re trying to chase down today, we’re trying to find the deposits that were deposited by these fluids.

These deposits are sort of, you know, 500 million years old now, so mother nature has had a long time to move the furniture around and sort of destroy or erode or fault off these deposits, but the Stavely Arc and the area in the district has remained really geologically stable and this has allowed for the preservation of a bunch of the geological features and deposits that we see today, and that’s really what’s allowed us to understand this district in greater detail.

In order to talk about the geology on the ground and exploration going forward I’ll now pass to Sarah Heard.

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

Thank you Steve.

[Slide: how do we know where to look?]

So yeah, my name is Sarah Heard and I’m the Senior Exploration Geologist at Stavely Minerals.

I’m also a long-term resident of Willaura and I am currently talking to you from my parent’s farm in the middle of Block 3.

So as I look out the window here I can see that we definitely don’t have the Andes sitting there, well we at least don’t anymore.

So about 400 million years ago that geology that we’re interested in was uplifted and eroded off to similar to what you see now except for we’ve also had some younger rocks be deposited over the top of what we’re interested in.

So if you look at the map that’s on the left there’s a green area, that green area is the exposed placement of what we’re interested in.

You can see there’s not much of it there, it’s predominantly covered by this maroon shape which is the later tertiary basalt, so quite a few of you ploughing the paddocks would find these rocks quite annoying because they often turn up and I’ve seen piles of them around in the paddocks.

So this basalt was erupted recently, or geologically recently, from volcanoes such as Mount Hamilton but also with some contributions from local volcanoes like Kulker or Pepper Hill just near Willaura.

We also have some sandstone, Bald Hill is an example of a sandstone outcrop, it’s the same group as the Grampians and is also a cover sequence that is not mineralising, we’re not interested in, we’re interested in what’s underneath it.

We also, as we travel further towards the Grampians there’s a lot of alluvial sediments, so from inland sea.

This includes clay and gravels, so what we want to do is have a look at this green unit that you see there under these rocks.

So we know where these covering units are but how do we know what we want to target that’s below these rocks.

So on the right there we have a geophysical image, this example is the magnetics.

Some of you may remember about six months ago there was a plan that was flying quite low over the area, that was collecting similar information to what this image is showing.

So what that image shows there is rocks that have a higher magnetics will have the hotter colours, so that might be that there’s minerals like Magnetite in it.

And Magnetite can be associated with this porphyry deposits that we’re looking for, but we also have the Cayley Lode where we know there’s copper mineralisation, so we can look at the geophysical signature of Cayley Lode and see where else we might see that in Block 3.

We’re also, there has been in the past as far back as the eighties and the nineties, there has been a series of drill holes that have been drilled in the area, and that shows us how deep this cover is and what rocks we might expect in the basement.

So if we go to the next slide we’ll have a look at how we go about exploring this basement under the covers.

[Slide: Exploration - what will we actually be doing?]

So Block 3 is very much considered a Greenfields Project, and that’s very much the very start of exploration.

What we want to do in the coming period is to conduct first pass reconnaissance exploration.

Now usually we would do this by soil sampling, and we will be doing some soil sampling, but we’re limited to where that green basement outcrop is with soil sampling because we just wouldn’t get deep enough.

So to get through the cover sequences we use a technique called air-core drilling, which is where we get a small rig that will penetrate that cover sequence and get to the basement rock that we’re interested in.

And then we can take samples and send them for assay for a whole suite of elements that might indicate if we’re in the ball park of where this type of mineralised system might be.

But with exploration, even if you have some success in the first pass exploration it’s a very, very long road with many stage gates as to whether you can continue or not, whether it’s what you have explored for is significant.

And as an example, the Stavely Project which is the Cayley Lode, previous explorers have been going over that area since the sixties, so that’s 60 years ago, so it gives you the idea of what timeframes you might be looking at.

So if we want to look at these techniques that we hope to employ in a bit more detail, if we go to the next slide we’ll have a video of the soil auger sampling that we do, and you’ll probably spot that Steve is in this footage taking the samples.

[Slide: Soil Auger Drilling]

So what we do is we have a small tractor and that’s got a posthole digger on the back, and that’s what we use to take the soil samples.

[Video: Stavely Minerals auger sampling views of drill in operation

  • Text: Auger drilling is a rapid, early stage, low impact drilling method to sample near surface soil.
  • This sampling method often uses the same machinery used for farm fencing.
  • The drill bit penetrates the top one metre of the soil profile, providing a useful sample of the subsurface geology.
  • After sampling, the hole is immediately filled in and rehabilitated before moving to the next site.

Stavely Minerals]

The next one we have is the air-core drilling which features myself on the rig, and with this, this is a small rig and usually each hole will take about anywhere between four hours to a day, so it’s a very quick method.

[Video: Stavely Minerals Aircore Exploration Drilling views in operation

  • Text: Aircore drilling is a quick, low impact drilling method to sample shallower subsurface geology.
  • An air core rig is mounted on the back of a 6WD Landcruiser with a support truck carrying supplies, tools and equipment.
  • The drill bit grinds the rock into chips, compressed air blows the rock chips up the inner tube and out through the large rubber hose attached to the top of the drill rig.
  • A sample is collect for each metre drilled.
  • These samples were particularly sloppy.
  • A geologist selects samples to be sent for analysis.
  • Once the hole is finished, the drill rig and support truck move to the next site to start again.
  • Remaining rock cuttings are taken to a waste facility and the area rehabilitated.
  • The locals kept a close eye on proceedings]

And that was the air-core drilling, so I’ll now pass back to Brett who will start the Q&A session.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thank you for that Sarah, and thanks to not only yourself but also to Steve and Lyall from Stavely Minerals as well, a great presentation, and I think those videos at the end are a terrific way to really get an idea of just what minerals exploration looks like on the ground.

It’s all well and good for whether it’s us or for Stavely Minerals to tell you what it looks like, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it first-hand on the ground.

We have still got about half an hour left of this session this evening that we put aside to answer any questions that you might have.

We have got a couple that came through with the registrations that I’ll get to shortly, but I just thought it’s worth mentioning, we haven’t actually got any that have come through yet from the participants on this webinar this evening.

So just a reminder there should be the little speech bubble icon at the top of your Microsoft Teams browsers that you can click on to ask a question and type it in there, or you should also have the little ask question button hopefully in the bottom right corners of your screen to allow you to do the same as well.

We are here until 8:30, if we don’t have the questions we may be in a position to wrap up a little bit early but we are also written to a hard end time of 8:30 and are happy to go a little bit longer if the questions start coming in.

So just a reminder, any questions pop them in, but while you may be doing that we’ll go to some of the ones that came in with the registrations.

And I’ll start with, I think probably yourself Sarah, I think I’ve got a couple here for you.

There’s a question, this one came in from, well it was around exploring in townships located in Block 3, I think this was a question that came from Rebecca.

Sarah, will Stavely Minerals be exploring any of the townships located in Block 3, specifically within town limits?

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

So the MRSDA states that we can’t drill within 100 metres of a dwelling, and that’s an existing dwelling.

We also can’t drill within 100 metres of a property boundary if that property is less than 0.4 of a hectare.

We can get special permission from the owner but that’s only at their explicit consent, like it’s not a given.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thank you for that Sarah.

I might stay with you for the next question.

This one was from Mike and it says will small residential home and landowners in the township of Wickliffe be affected?

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

It’s pretty much the same answer, we can’t drill within 100 metres of a dwelling, or can’t explore sorry, within 100 metres of dwelling or within 100 metres of a property boundary if it’s less than 0.4 hectare.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Terrific, thank you for that Sarah.

I might handover to you now Steve for the next one.

Alison’s asked what are you hoping to find?

Stephen Johnson, Exploration Manager, Stavely Minerals

Yeah, so we’re looking for porphyry copper, gold deposits.

They’re actually the world’s most important source of copper and Lyall spoke at the start of today about all areas that the green energy transition and all the thermatics around why the world needs copper.

About 80% of the world’s copper come from these porphyry copper, gold deposits, but the majority of them are sort of between 10 million years old and 100 million years old, the vast, vast majority.

The one we’re looking for here in western plains of Victoria is a 500 million year old porphyry copper deposit, so it’s going to be hopefully big and spread over sort of a wide area and sort of typically low-grade copper and gold, and it’s a well-studied and scientific phenomenon, but occurring in this district and being so old is one of the unique parts of the Stavely Project.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thank you for that Steve.

Annie, I might introduce you into the conversation here, and thank you to Robert who’s asked does the company have the right to access my land even if I do not wish this to happen?

I know Donna sort of touched on this earlier Annie, but I might ask you to just expand on that a little bit further if you might.

Annie Farrow, Manager Resource Strategy and Industry Investment

Yeah, thank you Brett and Donna did explain this well, but it is a question that is asked regularly, and we fully understand that is an important question, and important for the answer to be understood by all.

So, like every state in Australia, Victoria has vested the ownership of all minerals into the Crown, so that means that the state of Victoria owns the minerals on behalf of all of the Victorian people.

That vesting power is made under the Minerals Resources Sustainable Development Act, I’ll just call it the Act from now on because it is a mouthful.

And that Act also gives the power to the Minister for Resources, the power to issue licences to companies on certain conditions to explore for minerals.

And those conditions are that the company has to be able to fund the exploration program and rehabilitation costs, they indeed have to provide some money upfront to go into a Rehabilitation Bond.

There are other conditions like they must be – the directors of the company must be fit and proper people passing police checks and financial judiciary checks.

They must have the expertise to carry out exploration and genuinely intend to do the work.

But coming back to this vesting power, so under the law the Minister can issue minerals exploration licences to a company to explore for minerals, but the Act does say that the exploration company needs the consent of the landholder before they enter the property to undertake activity that is approved under the licence.

If the company is only intending to do reconnaissance exploration, and that is activity that only uses handheld tools and doesn’t involve any ground-disturbing work, then the explorer only needs to get informed verbal consent.

But for anything beyond that the explorer must get your written consent to enter your property.

And whilst the Act, and as Donna explained, is silent on whether landholders can deny access, so it doesn’t say landholders are not entitled to deny access, it doesn’t say that.

But what it does say is that the landholder or indeed the explorer may take the other party to VCAT or to the Supreme Court to settle matters of land access, but also the Act goes further and says that VCAT or the Supreme Court may only make a decision with respect to the level of compensation that the landholder is entitled to.

So it’s sort of essentially sort of saying in layman’s terms, and you are more than welcome to seek legal advice and you should do so if this is an issue for you, the Act is essentially sort of saying well we’re not saying anything about whether you can deny access or have the power to veto, but if it goes to the Supreme Court or VCAT they will only rule about the matter of compensation.

Now I must stress that it’s very rare for us to hear that any disputes end up in VCAT or the Supreme Court, they do occasionally occur but not very frequently, and exploration has been occurring for decades all around Victoria, and it just so happens that it occurs usually in agricultural land and you know, some Crown land.

But it’s happening, I think Brett mentioned, that about 46% of the state is currently under an exploration licence, and given the sheer number of exploration licences and exploration activity that’s happening in the state of Victoria today, it just demonstrates that explorers and landholders get on pretty well and sort these land access consent issues out amicably in almost all cases.

And I think then Donna also sort of said, that the explorers are here to work with you, they realise that they’re a guest on your property, they want to get in do their business and move on if there’s nothing to see there.

And yeah, so there are some dispute mechanisms that are outlined in the tool and you’ll get that tool sent to you by Donna, and please do use mediation but I am pretty confident that this licensee, like most licensees operating in the state, really want to work with you.

That’s it I think, thanks Brett.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thanks Annie and thanks to Robert for that question.

I did fail to mention earlier and I should have, that if someone you might know in the area was unable to attend tonight’s session but was interested in hearing what was said and catching up on the presentations, there will be a recording of the presentations made available in the days and weeks following tonight’s session once we get that transcript, and Donna will certainly email that all registered attendees so you can circulate that to those that might have missed tonight’s session or have been unable to attend it.

We have had a couple of questions come in which I’m going to work through now on the chat which is great.

There’s two, I might go to you on – I might start with you Steve on some of these.

So there was one around if you find copper how do you mine it and what sort of area could it be?

Stephen Johnson, Exploration Manager, Stavely Minerals

So it really depends on basically the volume and distribution of the copper grade that you find.

I mean it can take a long time to get a good enough understanding of the distribution of the mineralisation to make a decision on whether it’s sort of an open cut mine or an underground mine, and typically what happens is you go through the process that we’re going through now at the Cayley Lode where you drill a series of drill holes into the deposit at a defined spacing in order to create a volume that is well understood.

And then you do what’s called a scoping study and you analyse all the different mining methods to extract those metals, and that allows you to make an informed decision around what mining method is used.

So very early on in the exploration stage you do not know what style of mine is going to occur in the future.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thanks for that Steve and thanks for that question.

Annie, I might bunch a couple of these together now and steer them your way, because we’ve had a couple of quite similar sort of questions come in.

But two questions essentially, if you establish a mine who owns the mine?

And there’s a question there, I think it’s meant to be directed to you, how much money does the government make out of a new mine?

Annie Farrow, Manager Resource Strategy and Industry Investment

Thank you Brett.

Yeah, so I might answer the second question first.

So how much money does the government make out of a mine?

Maybe I can express it a different way.

Not so long ago the Victorian Government introduced for the first time a gold royalty, so if a gold miner produces more than 2,500 ounces of gold per year then it has to pay 2.75% of the market value in each year of the gold that they produce to the Victorian Treasury, so it’s a tax.

So 2.75% of the market value for every gold produced above 2,500 tonnes.

So in reality I think there’s only a couple of gold mines that are paying, certainly Fosterville Gold Mine near Bendigo would be by the main contributor.

I don’t have the actually total value of royalties earned by the state in my head and we will provide that at a later date.

This is a relatively new royalty tax that was introduced because ever since really the days of the Eureka Stockade there has never been a gold royalty.

There have been royalties on other minerals but never gold, and so that situation was rectified recently in this government’s term of office.

So that’s the first question, and I think the second question, who owns the mine?

This is a bit tricky, so essentially, up until a point of the company being issued two things, a mining licence and a planning permit to build a mine, any mineral deposit that is found by an exploration company is still owned by the Crown.

But in order to extract that deposit the mining company’s taking the financial risk of having to build a mine to extract it, and in return for giving the mining licence and the planning permit to operate the mine, then that transference actually then occurs to the mining company.

So the mining company then owns it and they’re paying the money back to the government in the form of that royalty that I just talked about.

So it’s at that point whether the ownership in effect transfers.

And just to make that point quite clear, just because they have a mining licence it doesn’t mean that you can actually start mining, because the second hurdle is that the Minister for Planning must give you permission to build the mine, and that’s where all of these additional requirements come into effect like undertaking an Environmental Effects Statement etcetera.

I think I’ll leave that there Brett.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Terrific, thank you Annie.

There’s a couple of questions around the environmental safeguards that we have had come in.

Steve, I’m not sure if it’s yourself or Sarah it’s you that’s best placed to answer these ones.

Sarah, I might go to you in the first instance on some of these, but if you do want me to bring Steve in just let me know.

I have a question come in, now apologies if you’re not aware of this one, it says is Stavely Minerals aware that the north-west corner north of the Maroona Glenthompson Road is an endangered species habitat plus has cultural heritage significance?

And the question is what processes will be put in place to safeguard both of these?

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

So when we’re starting a program these are things that we have to consider.

So that data, where you may have got that from, we can access that from the government.

So we get it from the government and we’ll bring it into our mapping software.

And that governs in some way where we put our planned holes or soil samples, because we, for reconnaissance in particular, we want to do that under the low impact exploration banner, and to do that you can’t drill in an area that may affect an endangered habitat, which is flora or fauna.

And if you drill in areas of cultural heritage significance there’s a limit on how many you can drill before it’s no longer considered low impact exploration.

However, if you look at a lot of these areas they are sitting around a waterway, and we can’t drill within 200 metres of a waterway if we want to do low impact exploration.

If we want to go beyond low impact exploration we have to do a work plan.

A work plan is something where we have to consider a whole range, it’s not just say we’re within 200 metres of a waterway, we don’t have to just put in mitigation for drilling around that waterway, it’s all aspects of that exploration project, and that includes the environmental aspects.

And I’ve authored a few of these work plans and they aren’t easy to get through, they’re checked by other departments, they’re checked by consultants who know a lot more about these things than I do, and then we get feedback, and then we have to fix up our work plan so that it meets those high standards to ensure our environment.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thanks Sarah.

And sticking with the theme of environmental safeguards that exist and are in place, there’s a question come in.

What happens if you have ancient trees in the vicinity of the mine?

Now, I might just jump in here and say that it’s important to note that with an exploration licence mining activity is not permitted, and Stavely Minerals isn’t permitted to establish a mine, they’re very much just undertaking exploration activities.

But I might bring you back in Sarah to ask in the context of exploration what happens if you do find ancient trees in areas where you’re looking to undertake exploration activities?

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

We will avoid moving, like for exploration activities we will avoid affecting trees, we won’t damage them.

We can always move the drill hole to avoid it.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Good to know, thank you Sarah.

I think the last question we haven’t addressed, so I guess this is probably the last maybe call out for questions with sort of nine minutes of the scheduled time to go, but I bring you into the conversation Lyall.

This might be a bit of a curly one, but it’s come through on the chat and it’s from a shareholder, and he or she is saying that they’re concern that the current share price would imply that there is not market support for this project. Why should landholders endure your exploration in this context?

And I guess Lyall here’s your chance to make the pitch.

Lyall Grey, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Stavely Minerals

Thanks Brett and thanks for the question.

I suppose one thing with any companies, the share price I suppose is affected and driven really by outside sources.

So I really I suppose can’t really comment too much on that.

As far as an exploration company is concerned though, we have a strong history or working in the area.

We’ve been here since 2013 and I think the important thing with that is we know the area, we have a very strong commitment to the area and we’ve worked very closely with landholders and the community over that time, so I think we’ve already had a find, we’ve had that discovery in 2019.

As Steve said before it’s very, very hard to actually find something, or as you said yourself Brett, it’s only one, well you said one in 300 exploration licences ever come up with a discovery.

The industry is closer to the one in 1,000 and we have made that discovery, so I think we have the runs on the board, we can show people that we know what we’re doing, we look after the environment, we work very closely with landholders, and as I said and the communities.

So really it’s up to, I suppose, the people who trade shares who buy shares to make the decision on whether they think there’s value in a company, it does go up and down, it traditionally does in exploration companies and mining companies as well you’ll see the share price go up and down.

And that really reflects a whole lot of other things going on out there, not necessarily directly related to what we’re doing.

So I can’t say and won’t tell you to go out and buy shares that’s a decision that you need to make with your financial advisor.

Thanks Brett.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Thanks Lyall, and to those of you taking the last minute opportunity to get some questions in it’s very much appreciated.

We’ve had a few more come in and I’m going to come back to you Lyall, and then I might bring you in Steve to this question as well, I think it’s worth both of you answering it.

But, there’s a question come in, does this exploration activity deliver any benefits to our region even if they find nothing at all and leave, or is it all downside?

I might ask you Lyall from your perspective, from the community side of things, and then Steve I might bring you in to talk about what I guess the exploration program leaves in terms of a geological understanding.

Lyall Grey, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Stavely Minerals

Well I’ll go in first as you said, and really I think what we’ve been doing in the area now, as I said, has already been bringing benefits to the community.

We’ve spent $43 million since 2013 on exploration in the area, and a lot, a very large proportion of that money has been spent in Victoria and in the region.

We use a lot contractors who are in Victoria and local where we can, whether it’s doing, as you saw with the auger drilling, auger sampling, that’s a local fencing contractor that we use there.

We buy fuel, we have accommodation in the region, we employ a number of local people, others might be a little bit further away than immediately in south-west Victoria, but where we can we will employ people here.

So I suppose that’s the theme.

We do have on our website, if anyone wants to have a look on our community page on stavely.com.au you’ll see a Deloitte report that talks about the benefits to the region that exploration, and if we go ahead with mining, what that will bring to the region.

It’s done by Deloitte so it’s a substantial company with a reputation for doing this sort of assessment, and I think if anyone’s interested have a read of that, it really does tell you even about what we might be able to bring to the region.

I might throw across to Steve now and you can do your bit.

Stephen Johnson, Exploration Manager, Stavely Minerals

I think it’s very important to understand the vast exploration history of this district, and as Sarah indicated in her presentation, people have been exploring in the Stavely Project, you know, coming up on 40 or 50 years.

And each explorer comes in and generates a significant dataset, and our geological team has been able to stand on these shoulders of these previous explorers and take advantage of all that work that was done.

And we’ve gone and looked at all their data, all their previous interpretations, and any work that’s done after that really adds to the body of knowledge, and that body of knowledge today is really being synthesised incredibly well by the Victorian Geological Survey, and they have highlighted the prospectivity on the Stavely Arc.

And one of the key contributors to that project was Ross Cayley and he is, like a phenomenal geoscientist and we recognise his efforts in understand the geology of the area by naming the discovery after him.

So in terms of a scientific field and an understanding of the geology of Victoria, each iterative geological work program adds to a really detailed body of knowledge that stays with the state and with the community going forward.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

And to what I think might be the final question for the night which I’m going to direct your way Sarah, how many hours per day is drilling going to occur?

Sarah Heard, Senior Geologist, Stavely Minerals

Say with the air-core rig we have that going 10 hours a day, that’s only a daytime activity it’s not something we can do at night.

If you go onto diamond drilling that’s as long as we’re far away enough from houses so we don’t have any sound effect, we do drill 24 hours a day.

Brett Millsom, Acting Manager Community & Stakeholder Engagement

Terrific, thank you Sarah.

And at 8:29 a minute before the scheduled cut-off time we might look to draw tonight’s session to a close.

We have been through all of the questions that we received with registrations and all of the questions that were asked in the chat, but this tonight really isn’t the only opportunity you have to ask questions of us or I’m sure of the Stavely Minerals team.

My colleagues have posted in the chat tonight links to websites into web pages where our contact details are and also where the contact details of Stavely Minerals are, and I’m certain that if you were to log on and find those and give any one of us a bell we’ll be more than happy to answer any further questions that you might have, or certainly if we can’t answer them we’ll be happy to try and chase the right person that can or steer you in the right direction of someone that can.

So if you find yourself in the next couple of days thinking I wish I’d asked that, or I’d like to know a bit more information about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at all.

I did mention earlier that a recording of tonight’s session, the transcript will be made available online on our Earth Resources website in the coming weeks, earthresources.vic.gov.au is that website and keep an eye out on your inboxes in the coming days and weeks.

Donna will circulate a link to that recording when it’s made available, we’ll also provide written responses to all of the questions that have been asked not only tonight but also in the first session that we held yesterday afternoon.

A big thank you to all of you that attended this evening, for taking time out of your evenings and making the time available to attend this session, we hope you’ve found it useful and that you’ve learned something new out of it and as a result of it, and we certainly appreciate you taking time particularly when we understand that for many of you it is a pretty challenging time at the moment and we’re competing with a number of other things that are going on in your lives such as lockdowns, home-schooling and so on and so forth, so we really do appreciate you taking the time out of your days and your evenings.

A big thank you to the team from Stavely Minerals, Steve Johnson, Sarah Heard and Lyall Grey for their presentations tonight and for their presentations yesterday also, really great, great stuff and really informative content tonight and I thank you certainly from the department.

To my colleagues, to Annie Farrow and to John Dunlevy, Annie was along for the first part of the session of the Q&As tonight, John you didn’t see but he’s doing a lot of the technical stuff behind the scenes.

And a special shout out and special thanks to Donna Mongan who you also heard from tonight but has been instrumental in organising tonight’s session and played a very active role and it certainly wouldn’t have happened without Donna’s supreme organisation skills, so thank you Donna for your efforts in organising this.

And I think at 28 minutes to nine o’clock I think we will bid you farewell and say enjoy the remainder of your evenings and thanks once again.

Page last updated: 15 Oct 2021