STAWELL Gold Mines has reiterated its commitment to working with the community on the Big Hill Enhanced Development Project.
Hearings into a proposal to operate two open cut pits at Big Hill concluded last Friday.
A State Government-appointed panel sat for 11 days to hear submissions from the project proponent Crocodile Gold (the owner of Stawell Gold Mine), relevant State Government departments, the Environment Protection Authority and members of the community.
When compiling its report and recommendations for the proposal, the panel will consider all the submissions made at the hearing in response to the Environment Effects Statement completed on the project, and the various experts called to provide evidence.
Headed by chairperson Jennifer Moles, it is expected that the four-person Inquiry Panel will provide its recommendation on the proposal to the Minister for Planning by the end of August.
Stawell Gold Mines General Manager, Troy Cole thanked the community members who attended the hearings - whether as an interested spectator or to make a submission.
"Our long association with the Stawell community has made us passionate about the region," Mr Cole said.
"We want to work with the community to grow the area and, as a company, believe the Big Hill project will be of huge benefit both over the five-year mining stage and well into the future due to the rehabilitation of Big Hill.
"We also understand that mining of this Stawell landmark is an emotional issue and were greatly impressed by the professional and considerate way in which community presentations were made to the hearing.
"We must now wait for recommendations to go to the Minister and for a decision to be made. In the meantime, SGM is only too happy to continue talking with members of the community about this proposal and how, if approved, it will impact their town and their region."
Mr Cole reiterated SGM's desire to work with the Stawell community on this project.
"This project is mutually beneficial to Stawell and our company. It will create employment, bring people to the area and lead to the rehabilitation of Big Hill itself," he said.
Questions about the Project and updates on the State Government's decision are available at 1800 771 729.