Victoria could soon boast a new commercial iron ore mine amid a surge of mining activity.
A combination of increased mineral prices and a supportive state government is driving a rejuvenated local mining sector with hot interest in exploration licences.
This week Eastern Iron advised the stock exchange it had moved into the environmental approvals phase for a commercial iron ore mine at Nowa Nowa, 30 kilometres from Lakes Entrance.
An open-pit goldmine was also approved this week south of Maryborough, in central Victoria, and in September, Melbourne will host an international mining conference.
The proposed East Gippsland iron ore mine would be in the Tara State Forest, and would include a 25-hectare open pit.
The mine would have a span of about 10 years and produce about 1 million tonnes of iron ore a year to be exported from near Eden…
Also this week, Octagonal Resources reported it had received approval for the Pearl Croydon open-pit goldmine at Amherst, in central Victoria, with work to begin next month. The site is estimated to have 53,000 ounces of gold, with a mine value of up to $20 million. Jason Mills, of Octagonal Resources, said mining was becoming more attractive in Victoria. ''I think the big thing is the government has streamlined some of their processes,'' he said. ''They have said they are open for business.''
..Not all are excited about a mining renaissance. Mark Wakeham, campaigns director with Environment Victoria, said he was concerned about the rush to mining in Victoria. ''It doesn't appear that any areas are off limits. There seems to be a real development-at-all-cost mentality.''
He said the state government had ''minerals envy'' of such states Western Australia and Queensland, and increasing mining would come at the expense of landholders and industries.