Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 – Section 15(5)

Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019 – Regulation 22(1) and Schedule 1

1. Name and address of applicant(s):

Petratherm Limited

c/- PO Box 440, Hove, SA 5048.  Mobile: 0429 787 593


2. Contact details of applicant (for map and other information requests):

Melissa Say, Authorised Agent (as employee of Australian Mining & Exploration Title Services)

Mobile: 0429 787 593 Email:


3. Applicant’s Website (see notes) Further information about this application is available at the following websites: www.amets.com.au/victoria-tenements and earthresources.vic.gov.au/licenceapplications 


4. Details of the application:

Application number: EL007276

Locality of the land to which the application relates: Approx. 7km west of Ballarat, 2km north and 4km west of Creswick and 3km east of Clunes. 

Approximate area of the application (Graticular Sections): 439

Date of the application: 16 July 2020

Term the licence is applied for: 5 years

Outline of the proposed program of work: Desktop studies, community engagement, mapping, geochemical sampling, ground geophysics, drilling.


5. Objections:

Any person may object to a licence being granted by:

  1. putting the objection in writing; and
  2. including the grounds on which it is made


Objections must be lodged within 21 days after the latest date on which the application was advertised and can be lodged online or posted to:


The Minister for Resources

c/- Manager Licensing, Earth Resources Regulation, GPO Box 2392 MELBOURNE 3001.


It is recommended that objections are lodged online to ensure timely consideration:



Enquiries can be made by writing to the Manager Licensing at the above address or by phoning the Earth Resources Information Centre on 1300 366 356.


6. Other information:

  1. Subject to other requirements being satisfied, an exploration licence, if granted, entitles the holder of the licence to explore and search for minerals in the relevant land, but does not entitle the holder to undertake mining.
  2. Further information regarding the requirements that must be complied with prior to work being undertaken is available on the department’s Community & Land Use page: https://earthresources.vic.gov.au/community-and-land-use

Work programme – Exploration Licence Application EL7276 “Ballarat West”

The exploration will target high-grade deep lead and reef gold deposits. The tenement application covers an area of approximately 420 km2. The exploration is early stage and no immediate focus areas have been identified as yet and therefore is regional in its context.

Nature of office-based activities

  • Review of open file historical exploration reporting and compilation of historical open file geological and geophysical data.
  • Geophysical data sets (gravity and magnetics) will be interrogated and re-processed to produce detailed local maps
  • Compilation of geological mapping, geophysical images, roads and land tenure data, soil sampling, drilling data, rock geochemistry data into a GIS interface.
  • Inspection and re-evaluation of historical drill core if available
  • Interpretation of the GIS database to determine prospective areas and to scope appropriate future ground activities.

Nature of all on-ground exploration activities

  • Geological mapping of outcrop and assessment of the cover to determine its applicability for soil sampling.
  • Mapping of historical gold prospects, fault structures and areas showing alteration.
  • Soil geochemical sampling (provided the covered areas are deemed amenable to this method of exploration).
  • Ground gravity survey to define main under cover faults/structures and aid regional geology for later drill targeting.
  • Trial of low impact passive seismic and ground penetrating radar technics to map basement depths and palaeo-topography to determine potential deep lead positions and palaeo-highs which may represent silicified gold bearing reef zones.

The nature of all sub surface activities

  • Regional air core drilling where possible over prospective areas defined by mapping and/or soil geochemistry and/or geophysics.
  • Rotary mud / diamond drilling of potential deep lead and reef gold targets below the Newer Volcanics as identified from geophysical surveys.
  • Follow-up rotary mud / diamond and RC drilling if warranted to aid determination of ore zones and shoot morphology.

A description and nature of the targets that the program seeks to delineate

The tenement area is mostly blanketed by the Newer Volcanics and consequently only previously lightly explored despite its proximity to Ballarat. The initial focus will be regional in its extent. Gravity data will be used to identify basement faults that may control the localisation of gold mineralisation within the host meta-sedimentary units beneath the cover. In addition, passive seismic techniques and ground penetrating radar survey work is proposed to aid mapping of the paleo-topography of the basement. Topographic highs may represent zones which have undergone silicic alteration associated with gold reef development for later drill testing. This data will also be used to identify paleochannels that may contain deep lead gold accumulations for later drill testing.

Recent historical gold exploration under cover, such as that shown with the discovery of 4 Eagles Prospect demonstrates an arsenic geochemical halo up to 300 m across strike and up to 500 m along strike where strong gold mineralisation occurs within the weathered bedrock (saprolite) zone. These style of basement geochemical vectoring will be used to home in on primary reef gold accumulations with later drilling.

As far as practicable, an indication of the location and focus of the proposed exercises with location maps

Some of the tenement area contains outcrop and sub-cropping areas amenable for rock chip sampling (Figure 1). These areas will be mapped and sampled to identify structures, any quartz reef development and areas of alteration.

Remaining covered areas will be assessed utilising principally gravity data to determine basement fault structures and regional geology. Regional infill gravity work will be undertaken. Low impact, hand-held passive seismic sonde surveying will be used to undertake regional traverses to map palaeo-topographic highs and paleochannels to aid regional drill targeting. Ground Penetrating Radar will also be trialled to map the basement surface below the Newer Volcanics.

Areas of outcrop and shallow cover can be targeted with air-core style drilling to identify gold and gold pathfinder elements to vector in on prospects for later deeper drilling. Targets identified under volcanic cover from the geophysical surveys will be drill tested by a combination of Rotary, RC and Diamond Drilling dependent on the local conditions.

A description of the geological rational behind the proposed program

The proposed tenement area occurs within the world-class Victorian Gold Province. Some of the exploration methodology summarised above for gold under cover, has been undertaking successfully in other covered areas in Victoria, good examples being the discovery of Lockington, Tandarra and Four Eagles. The Company will be breaking essentially new ground with respect to the utilisation of low impact passive seismic and radar techniques to map basement surfaces to identify drill targets. If successful it could open-up large areas for future exploration under cover.

A proposed schedule for the exploration program

Year 1

  • Review of open file historical exploration data
  • Compilation of historical open file geological and geophysical data into a GIS database.
  • Geophysical data sets (gravity and magnetics) will be interrogated and re-processed to produce detailed local maps
  • Inspection and re-evaluation of historical drill core if available
  • Interpretation of the GIS database to determine prospective areas and to scope appropriate future ground activities.
  • Landholder and stakeholder communications, access negotiations
  • Field reconnaissance mapping of outcrop, assessment of regolith and spot soil and rock chip sampling.

Year 2

  • Soil geochemical sampling (provided the covered areas are deemed amenable to this method of exploration).
  • Infill gravity survey over covered areas to define faults/structures.
  • Passive seismic and ground penetrating radar surveying to map palaeo-topography of basement.
  • Landholder and stakeholder communications, access negotiations

Years 3-5

  • Landholder and stakeholder communications, access negotiations
  • Regional air core drilling where amenable
  • Rotary/RC/Diamond drilling of targets beneath the Newer Volcanics
  • Critical appraisal of technical merit
  • Follow up rotary, diamond or RC drilling, as required

Figure 1 – Regional Geology of the ELA Area showing extensive areas of basalt cover, outcrop and historic mine workings.

Community Engagement Plan for EL007276


There is a legal requirement, S. 39A of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 for a licensee to consult with the community. The provision reads: -

A licensee has a duty to consult with the community throughout the period of the licence by-        

(a)        sharing with the community information about any activities authorised by the licence that may affect the community; and        

(b)        giving members of the community a reasonable opportunity to express their views about those activities.

In addition, there is a strong moral and ethical case for licensees informing their local communities as to their plans in these communities and for licensees to listen to the views of the local communities.

In general terms, the licensee must establish the extent of the local community, work out an effective manner in which to communicate with the various members of the community, actually engage in an on-going communications strategy and to effectively deal with the information that it was able to discover.

The Community Engagement Plan

In general terms, the licensee's community engagement plan is broadly based on the following:

Identify individuals or groups which may be impacted by the operations on the licence This would involve the compilation of a list of adjacent landowners, persons living on or in the vicinity  of the licence and other community groups which may be impacted by the operations. Groups such as the Victorian Farmers Federation or the local Field Naturalists Club. Government Departments, Federal, State or local, and other government bodies such as CMA's who have a particular interest in the land on which the licence is situated should also form part of the consultation group.

  1. It will be necessary to identify the expectations or attitudes of these groups and individuals. Often a direct face to face approach is the best was to engage many members of the community.
  2. The licensee will need to assess the impact of their operation on these individuals and groups. Following the consultation, the full impact would be assessed by guidelines provided by the Department.
  3. An assessment will be made following the consultation as to what level of com-munity input and involvement can be achieved. There are likely to be a range of matters which may need to be considered. Ideally, many of the ideas and suggestions will be mutually beneficial to both the licensee and the local community. Matters such as working hours or attitudes to working on days of high fire danger or working on hot and windy days may be matters which the local community could have views which need to be considered by the licensees.
  4. Any contact or complaint will be noted in a complaints book, and the licensee will promptly make suitable arrangements to contact the complainant. Where possible, the matter would be settled between the two parties, but the local Mines Inspector or the Mining Warden may be requested to assist in resolving any issue or meditating on the matter.

The licensee will produce an information sheet or local newspaper advertising outlining the project and seeking community views and attitudes to the operation.

Such interaction with the community will be used to identify any issues that may be arising from the operations on the licence and will attempt to accommodate the views of the stakeholders in dealing with any such issues.

The community is welcomed for their interest and input into ensuring that there is a minimum of adverse effects to the amenity of the area or the impact on the expectation of the community for the peaceful enjoyment of their local environment.

The licensee is mindful of the need to maintain these exceptionally good community relations and to ensure that the channels of communication between the licence holder and the community in which it operates are kept open. All discussion with the community is based on mutual trust and respect.