The Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions is holding online information sessions to update locals about minerals exploration in Stawell and Ararat.
The sessions will outline landholder rights, the safeguards in place to protect properties, obligations of exploration companies and the tools available to help landholders negotiate with minerals explorers.
Earth Resources Regulation recently issued explorer Gippsland Prospecting the fourth minerals exploration licence.
This permits exploration over an 800 sq km area west of Ararat and Stawell for gold, copper and other minerals. The area does not include the Grampians National Park.
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Earth Resources Policy and Programs executive director Jane Burton said minerals exploration was the first step in determining if minerals were present.
"If development is considered viable, it takes many years to progress toward mining," she said.
"We encourage landholders to attend one of these sessions to learn more about minerals exploration, their rights and the obligations of exploration companies. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the department and Gippsland Prospecting.
"The land access consent tools help landholders to negotiate a fair access to their property.
"The Geological Survey of Victoria has suggested that these areas could be prospective. It has happened right across the state for many years."
Gippsland Prospecting will attend the sessions to outline their activities and answer questions. Attendees can register to attend one of two online sessions at earthresources.vic.gov.au.
The sessions will be from 12.30pm-2pm Tuesday, November 24 and 7pm-8.30pm Wednesday, 25 November.
Minerals exploration brings investment and jobs to regional communities. Gippsland Prospecting expects to spend up to $14 million over the five-year licence period on exploration, they will receive a $500,000 co-funded TARGET Minerals Exploration grant to help fund early-stage activities.
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 can take many years to progress toward mining, including meeting regulatory controls.
In Victoria, before an explorer can access privately owned land and commence exploration activities, the explorer requires landholder consent.
Land access consent tools are available to aid negotiations between landholders and exploration companies. Templates will help both parties agree on access to private property, biosecurity protocols and managing any impacts on crops, and potential compensation.
The landholder tools are at earthresources.vic.gov.au/landaccess.
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