The Victorian Government’s new web tool, Mining Licences Near Me, will provide Victorians with the facts on minerals and petroleum exploration and development and reduce the capacity for scaremongering by anti-mining activists.

The MCA has long advocated for information held by the State to be made available to landholders and communities in a format that is readily accessible. This new tool will provide meaningful information on specific mineral and petroleum activities underway across the State.

The tool was one of the key recommendations arising from the Economic Development and Investment Committee inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria. It supplements the existing database (GeoVic) which is complex, unwieldy and not at all user-friendly.

Licences allocated under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act permit a defined and specific activity - exploration, retention or mining. Communicating the difference between licence types and the activities they allow has been challenging.

For example, there continues to be a misconception – inflamed by anti-mining activists - that exploration means a mine will soon emerge at that location.

Exploration by its definition means searching for something. It seeks to identify and define a resource and assess its feasibility in geological, financial, environmental and social terms. Only resources that pass these tests progress to either a retention or mining licence.

The minerals industry has often used the predictor that for every 1000 exploration sites, only one progresses to mining and therefore a large area of Victoria is routinely covered by exploration licences with the hope that one of these will discover a valuable resource that if extracted will increase the economic prosperity of Victoria and deliver regional economic growth and employment opportunities.

Hopefully Mining Licences Near Me will complement the existing community engagement and education programs underway by Government and industry to inform and engage all Victorians so that we can all maximise the benefits from Victoria’s mineral resource endowment.

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