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Story Transcript


DISCOVERY V I C T O R I A ’ S

E A R T H

R E S O U R C E S

J O U R N A L

S E P T E M B E R

2 0 0 3

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Perseverance at Fosterville Bendigo ‘Aqua Gold’ Vic Hub project links market Otway gas moving ahead Loy Yang dredges depths

A treasure of a museum in the heart of Melbourne Experience award winning permanent exhibitions: • Making Melbourne • Built on Gold • Growing up in the Old Treasury

View temporary exhibitions:

Salt of the Earth • 8 August - 7 September A Wangaratta Gallery travelling photographic exhibition by Stephen Routledge depicting images of the Murray Darling Basin.

A Tiara for Maxima • 12 September - 9 November Major international exhibition featuring 21 contemporary tiaras produced by designers from the Netherlands. Organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art, ’s - Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

Group tour packages: $5 introductory tour, $8 executive tour, $11 grand tour (includes refreshments). Bus parking and disabled access available. Gold Treasury Museum 9am - 5pm weekdays, 10am - 4pm weekends Old Treasury Building, Spring Street, Melbourne Group Tour Bookings, Telephone: (03) 9651 2233

DISCOVERY V I C T O R I A’ S

E A RT H

R E S O U R C E S

J O U R N A L

S E P T E M B E R

2 0 0 3

contents OTWAY GAS PROJECT MOVING AHEAD

2

Victoria’s natural gas supply security set to improve

MAKING BROWN COAL GREEN AND CLEAN

4

Greenhouse challenge to cut brown coal emissions

LOY YANG MINE DREDGES THE DEPTHS

7

Victoria’s biggest coal mine reaches its design final pit depth

ESSENTIAL PETROLEUM SHOWS THE WAY IN OTWAY BASIN

8

Who said exploring for petroleum in a National Park was impossible?

PERSEVERANCE OPTS FOR BUGS AT FOSTERVILLE

12

Bacterial leaching of sulphide ore to support gold production

NEW PHASE IN MURRAY BASIN BOOM

13

Victoria’s mineral sands projects enter exciting development phase

BENDIGO TO PROCESS WATER INTO ‘AQUA GOLD’

16

Waste water from the Bendigo gold mine and Coliban Water authority to be recycled

VIC HUB PROJECT LINKS VICTORIA TO THE MARKET

cover picture

18

Natural gas trading across the state is now a reality

MINING TO START AT BENDIGO – FIRST EVER GOLD RESERVE

20

The first gold pour is set for March 2005 as the sleeping gold giant starts to stir

MPI TO MAINTAIN STAWELL JOINT VENTURE

21

Groundwater flows provide the base for new gold exploration in the Stawell corridor

NEW RUSH INTO VICTORIAN GOLD EXPLORATION

23

It’s not a boom yet, but Victoria’s rich gold potential is starting to attract serious attention

RANGE RIVER GOLD JOINS THE VICTORIAN RUSH

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New companies are now regularly joining the Victorian exploration scene seeking to emulate the success of the past

PIPELINES, PROSPECTORS AND MINE REHABILITATION

26

Interest in Victoria’s fabulous gold mining potential is reaching new heights with new companies and new technologies being utilised in the search for new gold deposits. The prospects for major gold discoveries and the development of large new gold mines has risen dramatically, despite the strengthening of the Australian dollar, which had the potential to dampen enthusiasm. Bendigo Mining is set to produce its first gold in early 2005. Perseverance is close to declaring its Fosterville project a commercial proposition and new life has been breathed into the Ballarat goldfield. Other companies are moving into Victoria in a big way and the state is attracting an ever growing share of Australia’s exploration budget. The future could not look better.

A series of new guidelines and regulations covering important parts of Victoria’s active resources sector have been released

BALLARAT – THE RETURN OF A WORLD CLASS GOLD FIELD

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Ballarat Goldfields has resumed exploration work under a new management with high expectations for success DISCLAIMER: This publication may be of assistance to you, but the State of Victoria and its officers do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

regular features MINISTERS FOREWORD

2

Minister Theo Theophanous gives his views

NEWS BRIEFS

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Minerals and Petroleum Victoria acknowledges contributions made by private enterprise. Acceptance of these contributions, however, does not endorse or imply endorsement by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of any product or service offered by the contributors.

A roundup of Victorian industry news

VICTORIA’S MINERAL, OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

14

Victoria’s mineral, oil and gas resources

MINERAL LICENCES

22

Who’s doing what with mineral exploration licences

All photographs, maps, charts, tables and written information in this publication are copyright under the Copyright Act and may not be reproduced by any process whatsoever without the written permission of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. © Minerals and Petroleum Victoria 2003.

Published quarterly by the Minerals and Petroleum Division of the Department of Primary Industries. Distribution and DPI enquires to Chandri Nambiar, Manger Marketing Development, Minerals and Petroleum Division, Department of Primary Industries, Level 7, 240 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, Vic, 3002. Tel: (03) 9412 5061 Fax: (03) 9412 5155, website: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/minpet/index.htm Australia Post Print Publication PP349472/00128.

1

MINISTERS FOREWORD

Power for the future

Otway gas pro

When people think of future power sources for Victoria, they tend to overlook our single biggest asset – coal. Victoria has vast lignite reserves. It is our largest mineral resource and provides 85% of our electricity. Since the 1920’s it has provided secure and reliable electricity to our homes and has made Victoria the manufacturing capital of Australia. But coal’s role is not just historic – with the right technologies such as coal drying, gasification and sequestration, it can play a huge role in our future as well.

WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF FUTURE POWER SOURCES FOR VICTORIA, THEY TEND TO OVERLOOK OUR SINGLE BIGGEST ASSET – COAL.

Victorian lignite is a clean coal, containing low levels of pollutants such as sulphur, heavy metals and ash. However, being a young coal it contains a high proportion of water and produces just over half of the State’s CO2 greenhouse emissions. The Bracks Labor Government is committed to realising our economic potential, and to maximising social and environmental benefits. Our challenge is to retain our competitive advantage of cheap, reliable and secure electricity while also reducing greenhouse emissions – and we are actively addressing this challenge. I fully support the development of renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power and recognise that these will continue to provide an increasing amount of electricity in an expanding electricity market. The degree to which these forms of energy production will expand depends to some extent on the Federal Government maintaining and expanding the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) in line with Victoria’s submission to the MRET review.

Natural gas can also generate electricity but our reserves are limited. Our massive amounts of coal will therefore be our preferred fuel to generate electricity for many years, provided its greenhouse emissions can be significantly reduced. At the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum meeting in the US during June this year, I met with a number of countries to sign an agreement to cooperate in the development of geosequestration as a means of reducing greenhouse emissions. Geo-sequestration is the permanent storage of CO2 underground. That is, after the coal or gas has been extracted from the ground, it is burnt, the CO2 is captured and then pumped back deeply underground. While there are many challenges to this technology there is a willingness across the world to work together to develop it, and Victoria will play a major role in this task. Victoria is also prominent in a number of other technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions. The Victorian CRC for Clean Power from Lignite, is a world leader in drying coal, so that the coal we burn produces less CO2. The CRC is also working with the USA and research bodies in other countries to develop technologies to increase the efficiency of coal burning. Added to this is the new Victorian Centre for Energy and Greenhouse Technologies, which the Government has established to support the development and commercialisation of technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.

Victoria’s natural gas supply will be dramatically enhanced by the

D

evelopment of the Thylacine and Geographe gas fields off the Otway coast of Western Victoria, which will add a major new dimension to Victoria’s natural gas supply and security, is moving ahead with the completion of the environmental assessment process. Under Victorian legislation the Minister for Planning determined that the Victorian sector of the Thylacine/Geographe offshore development would be subject to an Environment Effects Statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978. The Victorian and Federal Governments agreed to a coordinated assessment process that will include the joint development of guidelines for the preparation of a consolidated environmental assessment document. Other regulatory approvals for the billion dollar project will be required under the state and commonwealth Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Acts.

I look forward to working with our industry, research bodies and the community in answering this challenge.

Woodside Energy Ltd., operator and major equity holder in the offshore gas development, is developing the Geographe and Thylacine gas fields on behalf of joint venture participants Origin Energy Resources Limited, CalEnergy Gas (Australia) Limited and Benaris International N.V.

Hon Theo Theophanous Minister for Energy I...

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