Notice of Retention Licence Application 2020


The Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) notified Stavely Minerals Limited on the 19th June 2014 that it has been granted priority over the Retention Licence Application RL2020 covering parts of the Ararat Project.

What is a Retention Licence?


The Victorian Department of Energy and Earth Resources states that:-

“A retention license is an intermediate license between an exploration licence and a mining licence. It allows activities such as intensive exploration, research and other development activities required to demonstrate the economic viability of mining. 

The primary purpose of a retention licence is to undertake further evaluation work on a mineral resource, which is not currently economically viable to mine, in order to establish its economic viability and lead to mining of the mineral resource.”

Retention Licence Application 

A retention licence, RL2020 covering the entire extent of EL4758 and EL5486 (application) and part of EL3019 has been applied for to include:

-    the Mount Ararat Copper Deposit and potential extensions, 
-    the Carrolls and South Pole Prospects, as well as, 
-    the potential mineralisation along the identified copper trend, and,
-    over an area required for mining infrastructure and waste-rock disposal landforms.  


The Ararat Project, contains an unmined copper deposit - the Mount Ararat Copper Deposit. 

The retention licence will allow Stavely Mineral’s to assess the project area for its economic merit over a 10 year time period. 

The application area for RL2020 is set out in the plan below. 

Environment and Community Impact Mitigation


All operations undertaken by Stavely Minerals will be conducted to ensure minimal impact on the existing land use, environment and community.


Site Risk Assessment


Drill collar locations will be selected and sites designed to ensure maximum protection of environment, social and land-use factors.


All drill sites will be fenced or flagged to prevent access by unauthorised personnel. Any person entering the drill area will be inducted by the on-site driller. All relevant personal protective equipment will be worn. 


During the drilling phase a Stavely Mineral employee or Stavely Minerals contract representative will be present on site at all times.


Pre-existing tracks and roads will be used to access drill sites where possible. Where additional access is required it will be done in consultation with the landholder and will be rehabilitated upon completion of the program.


Noise Management


Proximity to housing will determine drill site selection. Noise attenuation devices (including the use of shipping containers) will be used where necessary to ensure minimal public disturbance and compliance with EPA limitations. RC drilling hours will be from 7am to 6pm.  Diamond drilling will be conducted in two 12hr shifts per day. This will reduce to one 12hr shift when drilling close to residences. It is anticipated that drilling will not be sited any closer than 100m from an occupied residence.


Water Management


Sites will be selected so as not to disturb any natural drainage lines. There will be no discharge of water or drilling fluids. It is anticipated minimal groundwater will be intercepted. If groundwater is intercepted, all water will be contained in cascading water tanks.  Biodegradable drilling fluids will be used to ensure minimal impact on groundwater.


Dust Management


A small amount of dust is expected to be emitted from the drill rig on occasions while RC drilling is in progress. All dust mitigation devices and techniques will be employed to minimise this emission.

Fire Prevention


All machinery and equipment will be checked to ensure adequate fire suppression equipment is available at all times. Equipment will be checked for potential fire hazards prior to beginning work.


Flora Management


Sites will be selected to ensure minimal vegetation disturbance. Sites with previous disturbance will be selected in preference to removing vegetation and no native vegetation removal is required.


Preparation of the site for diamond drilling will be done in consultation with the landholder. The preparation will may involve removal and setting aside of the top soil and subsequent laying of thick plastic sheets beneath the entire site, or the use of coconut matting to protect the soil ecosystem from mechanical disturbance or chemical additions. Following the completion of drilling, shallow scarification will be undertaken to remediate compaction, and if the topsoil was stockpiled, the top soil will be replaced.


All care will be taken to prevent the introduction of weeds or exotic species to the drill location. All equipment is thoroughly washed down taking particular care around the vehicle belly, wheels and wheel wells to ensure all dirt and organic material that may transfer seeds or pathogens are removed.


Fauna Management


When selecting drill collar locations, consideration will be given to possible fauna roosts, nests or general habitat. Operators will ensure there is no disruption to native fauna such as birds, reptiles or marsupials that may enter the drill site after drilling has commenced.


Waste, in particular food scraps, will be appropriately stored and disposed.




Upon completion, all drill sites will be fully rehabilitated to their natural state in accordance with the Mineral Resources Development Act 1990 (“the Act”).


Environmental Monitoring and Auditing


Safety and Environmental monitoring will be conducted by qualified/ experienced site personnel prior to and after completion of each drill hole. Site audits are then conducted on a quarterly basis for the first 12 months after completion of the programme thence on an annual basis for the duration of the Retention Licence.

Health and Safety


Stavely Minerals has an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Policy. The policy aims to provide a safe and healthy working environment.


Community Engagement


A copy of all work programs detailing high impact exploration activities will be provided to the Ararat Shire by Stavely Minerals to ensure they are fully aware of the proposal and to give them an opportunity to comment.

The company will notify the landowners and occupiers in writing of any exploration to be undertaken, whether it be low impact or high impact in nature.  Landholder Compensation Agreements will be put in place for all landholders to be affected by high impact exploration, including drilling.

Stavely Minerals is committed to regular, open and honest communication with the community. The community will be kept informed of exploration programs on the project. Communication methods used include the company’s website, updates to the local council, interviews with the local newspapers and direct liaison with the affected landholders. Stakeholders with an interest in the project should join the mailing list on the website to receive email alerts for updates and news. Stavely Minerals has a local landholder liaison consultant, Greg Walcott with whom community members are encouraged to communicate with should they have any queries or concerns.

Greg Walcott’s contact details are (03) 5570 1244 or 0488 379 077.

Proposed Work Program for RL2020



Retention licence application 2020 contains an existing Inferred Mineral Resource at the Mount Ararat Deposit, (using a 1% copper lower cut-off) of 1.2Mt at 2.0% copper, 0.5g/t gold, 5.7 g/t silver and 0.4% zinc for a contained 24kt of copper, 18,000 ounces of gold, 4.8kt of zinc and 200,000 ounces of silver. The estimate classified and reported in compliance with The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code, 2012 Edition).


The retention licence also covers the prospective horizon on which the Mt Ararat Copper deposit mineralisation occurs, which extends for approximately 15 kilometres both NNW and SW along strike through EL4758 and EL3019. Historic copper production occurrences including the Borbidge and the Carrolls copper workings, located approximately 2 kilometres south and north of the Mount Ararat copper deposit respectively, occur along the prospective stratigraphic horizon.


The estimated Mineral Resource is not currently economically viable to mine but with further exploration and an increase in the Minerals Resources in the vicinity which could impact on the potential scale of an operation, and / or an increase in the copper and gold prices in the future, it is likely that the deposit could be economically viable to mine in the future.


Further details of the project and resource can be found at\projects\ararat-project and  respectively.  


Short Term Work Program (1-2 Years)


The initial work program on the retention licence will focus on Reverse Circulation drilling to test the most favourable coincident copper/zinc soil anomalism and electromagnetic anomalism along the corridor to the north of the Mt Ararat Copper deposit to look for repeats of the deposit.


Other exploration to be conducted will include regional soil sampling at targets identified along the defined copper trend.


Medium Term Work Program (3-5 Years)


In the medium term infill and extensional reverse circulation and/or diamond drilling will be conducted on and around the known extents of the Mt Ararat resource and potentially follow-up on the repeats of the deposit to the north.


Depending on the results from the previous phase of exploration metallurgical and geotechnical drilling will be undertaken.


The targets identified along the copper trend will be progressed, initially by ground electromagnetic surveys, and subsequently by reconnaissance drilling and then follow-up drilling.


Long Term Work Program (6 - 10 Years)


Assuming that prior stages of the work program have been successful the resource estimate at Mt Ararat and extensions will be updated.


Depending on the results achieved during the medium term work program, the prospects along the copper trend will be advanced as required.


Assuming that previous stages of exploration returned favourable results, activities during this period would include an assessment of the project economics and development potential, initially in the form of a scoping study and later as a pre-feasibility study.  

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