Perceived by many as a destructive industry, mineral resources in Victoria has a long way to go before everyone is on board with working in partnership with companies to ensure that we are responsibly sourcing the materials that make life possible.
We understand that this cultural shift won’t be easy and won’t be quick: We are proud of what we do and who we are, and we will continue to walk the talk: aiming to benchmark best practice in harmonious community relations and Environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
We believe the best way toward this is to continue to back ourselves, continue to be transparent, and continue building our relationships and our community.
It is common for us to get media requests to try and answer some of the questions individuals might have, while each response is case dependent, we will always try and take our time to educate about ourselves and the industry in the most honest and direct way. Here is an example of a response we have provided for one of our tenements over the Hepburn shire:
“Our company holds an exploration licence, not a mining licence. No mining activities are permissible under this licence. We have done no physical work so far in the area outside literature study and research.
Our philosophy is to engage as early as possible, to make ourselves known and available in an area we could be interested in well before we begin any on the ground studies. We have made contact with the Hepburn Shire since before our licence was granted. Once granted (May 2022), traditional owners and land managers across the shire were contacted and introductory meetings arranged, so the company could be known for any future inquires and planning. All management plans for exploration are site and activity specific, majority of permissible activities are low impact and temporary, and have no lasting environmental impact. We are in the process of determining the best time to conduct low impact exploration drilling based on consultation and environmental conditions. Our initial considerations for drilling anywhere involve mostly summer months, to ensure avoidance of both wet weather (to protect environmental conditions) and common breeding and nesting times of fauna. Current La Niña and atypical weather this year, fire management practices as well as environmental conditions will have an impact to final plans. We also have other projects across the state, exploration planning is entirely dependent on progressive results. Notice will be given before any commencement of work.
Our community and Environmental policy, along with many other resources are available on our website, which explains our process on how we identify and consult stakeholders. rraustralasia.com.au
Community voice can, and should support more balanced and considerate decision making. I would encourage interested community members to make sure their concerns and questions are specific, to allow for concrete and action based plans for mitigation. This not only assists companies in their environmental and social responsibilities, but it gives stakeholders something tangible to keep companies accountable for their action plans. Most people’s concerns will relate to mining, not exploration.
Over the term of the Exploration licence (5 years), an overall appreciation of the biodiversity and Environmental importance of areas across the Licence is gathered, to ensure all planning is informed and impact can be mitigated. This is where the community knowledge and specific concerns are invaluable: Instead of broad statements, “How will you affect the Environment”, more specific questions such as “I am concerned about increased noise” “There are phascogales in (this specific) area, how will you affect them?” “Will you destroy any trees?” ”Are there Yarra Gums in the area you are working? They are endangered, how will you ensure they are not affected” are encouraged. These statements allow for concrete answers, actionable plans and keep companies accountable. Explorers are bound by extensive legislation under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (the MRSD Act), including all Environmental and Flora and Fauna Acts: though not all areas of biological significance or importance are always legally protected, therefore locals are valuable sources of expertise and knowledge. Priority of Exploration for Our Company is given to areas largely disturbed by anthropogenic influences such as old tailings, mullock heaps, processing areas etc.
Only about one in 1,000 exploration projects ever progress to the mining stage. Net zero carbon, cleaner and renewable energy solutions require metals and minerals. Globalisation has caused consumers to become more aware of the affects manufacturing of products has on the people and environment. Ethical Sourcing ensures the products we rely on for modern living are obtained through responsible and sustainable methods. This includes all social and environmental aspects of production from the workers to the surrounding communities are considered. Responsible land management requires shared knowledge, collaboration and input from the community in ongoing open dialogue.
Minerals are a necessity and with modern technologies, can be extracted responsibly: community involvement and voice is key to this shared responsibility, we all need to be part of the solutions. Unfortunately no-one can control where mineral deposits occur.
Thanks so much for getting in touch,