In June 2018 the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) released 11 ground blocks (the ‘Stavely Ground Release’) for minerals exploration in an area known as the Stavely Arc, and opened a tender process to encourage applications from mineral explorers.
In April 2020 a licence was granted for ‘Stavely Block 1’ to Westrock Minerals which then commenced an exploration program to search for copper and gold in the tenure that includes parts of the Chatsworth, Caramut and Hexham districts. This exploration is ongoing. In August 2021 a licence was granted for ‘Stavely Block 3’ to Stavely Minerals Limited, allowing it to explore in an area approximately 25 kilometres west of Ararat including parts of the Woorndoo and Chatsworth districts. This licence is the fifth to be issued for the Stavely Arc since the 2018 Stavely Ground Release.
Minerals exploration is exempt from the need for a planning permit under the Moyne Planning Scheme, which is consistent across Victoria. Early-stage exploration activities such as mapping, sampling and rock testing are the first steps in establishing if minerals are present. If development is considered viable, it typically takes many years to progress toward mining, including meeting regulatory controls.
To access privately owned land in Victoria, minerals explorers require landholder consent.
External link https://earthresources.vic.gov.au/projects/stavely