Syndicate Minerals is an exploration company based in Melbourne
We are dedicated to the highest environmental and community standards in our work.
Honouring and respecting the traditional owners of our land
All our activities will involve a detailed process of engagement with traditional owners of the land in question and no work will take place until there has been a satisfactory process and agreement reached.
Supporting rural communities and landowners
There is no exploration permitted on private land without the written consent of the landowner, which would include a compensation agreement.
When the lockdown due to COVID19 subsides, we will be personally looking to meet community members and landowners to discuss our non-ground disturbing exploration work prior to commencing. In the mean time please get in touch with us directly with any concerns or questions using the form below.
Proactive involvement in protecting and enhancing natural habitat
Natural resource exploration and mining should not lead to environmental degradation or damage. The mining industry should in fact lead a positive role in funding habitat restoration and protection.
Once the COVID19 lockdown ends we will be actively engaging with local land care and environmental groups to play a positive and proactive role in preserving our natural environments. If you have suggestions or concerns about environmental aspects of future exploration please get in touch using the form below, we’d love to hear from you.
Environmental impact minimisation
We are exploring for metals with modern technologies and striving to achieve a minimal environmental footprint while providing the vital metals required to ensure a renewable energy future. If you have any concerns or suggestions about environmental practices and mining please get in touch using the form below.
Notice of an Application for an Exploration Licence – EL007382
On 1 July 2020, Syndicate Minerals Pty Ltd (“Syndicate Minerals”) lodged an Exploration Licence Application in the vicinity of the towns of Heathcote and Argyle, Victoria, as indicated on the map below.
The application for Exploration Licence No 007382 (“EL007382” or “Argyle Project”) is located approximately 103km North North West from Melbourne, 105km North East from the regional centre of Ballarat and 39km South East from the regional centre of Bendigo.
Syndicate Minerals seeks the area for exploration of gold as its primary target, with secondary targets of silver, platinum and base metals.
The proposed Argyle Project area is located within the Bendigo-Ballarat zone of the Palaeozoic Lachlan Fold Belt of eastern Australia.
Syndicate Minerals believes that utilisation of modern exploration techniques is essential to determine the prospectivity of the area and potentially work towards the development of a resource definition.
The proposed program of work includes low impact geological surveys. Any resulting targets will be ranked, with higher priority targets to be drill tested and reviewed, with consideration of a number of parameters (exploration, environmental, community etc). The initial two years of the program will involve desktop work, with review of previous exploration program reports and identification of potential targets.
For a description of the systems employed by Syndicate Minerals for managing impacts of the proposed work on the community and the environment please refer to Systems for Managing Impact on the Community and Environment for EL007382.
For an outline of how Syndicate Minerals, as licensee, intends to meet its obligations under Section 39A of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (VIC) to consult with the community (including landowners and occupiers) please refer to Community Consultation for EL007382.
The information provided is published in accordance with section 15(5) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (VIC) and Regulation 22(1) and Schedule 1 of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019 (VIC).
EL007382 Location Plan
Figure 1: EL007382 Location Plan
Information for Landholders
Syndicate Minerals is an exploration company established in 2019 with the initial purpose of revitalised gold exploration within Victoria and New South Wales. Syndicate Minerals aim is to acquire exploration projects and use modern exploration and evaluation techniques techniques to search for the next generation of gold exploration targets in central Victoria.
What are the basic entitlements of Exploration Licences and how is it different to mining?
An Exploration Licence grants exclusive rights, subject to conditions, to explore for minerals within a certain area. An Exploration Licence does not permit mining. “Exploration” is defined in the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (VIC) (“MRSD Act”) to include:
a) Conducting geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys;
c) Taking samples for the purposes of chemical or other analysis; and
d) Extracting minerals from land, other than for the purpose of producing them commercially.
The MRSD Act defines “mining” as extracting minerals from the land for the purpose of producing them commercially, including processing and treating ore.
Exploration does not always lead to mining. Exploration is the first step which allows licence holders to determine whether a mineral deposit is economically viable before an Exploration/Mining Company decide to conduct further activity, or mining. While exploration often takes place over larger areas, the area that may be subsequently mined is usually much smaller.
Should EL007382 be granted by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (“Department”), it will be valid for a period of five years, with the option to apply for renewal of the licence. Throughout the term of the licence, part of the area must be relinquished (surrendered). Specifically, after 2 years, the area must be reduced by 25% and after 4 years an additional 35% must be surrendered. Upon renewal, further relinquishments would be required at years 7 and 10.
Can I object to the grant of an Exploration Licence?
As a landholder you may object to a minerals exploration application before it is approved. Any landholder objections must be made within 21 days of the Notice of Application for an Exploration Licence (newspaper advertisements).
As the current project is at the application stage, landholders may lodge an objection to the Department in writing, and it must include the grounds on which the objection is made. The Department will consider all objections before deciding whether to grant the licence. Further, the Department may choose to add extra conditions on any mineral exploration licence granted in satisfaction of the application, in an attempt to address community and landholder concerns.
Most objections can be solved by developing a suitable work plan to address landholders’ concerns. The work plan will initially involve a compilation of historical exploration data. Field reconnaissance and geological/structural mapping will be conducted across the area. Low impact geophysical surveys may be conducted in small areas within EL007382. Pending the results of preliminary exploration activities, targets may be identified for drilling.
Syndicate Minerals welcomes the community to contact Syndicate Minerals regarding any queries or concerns prior to lodgement of a formal objection with the Department. Syndicate Minerals is committed to addressing landholder concerns and working with local community members to allow for the sustainable and supported development of Victoria’s mineral resources in the near future.
What are the community engagement requirements of the licence holder?
In accordance with Section 39A of the MRSD Act, Syndicate Minerals is required 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.
To this end, Syndicate Minerals is committed to working with landholders to ensure its plans are accepted and supported by the community.
As a land holder of a property within EL007561, am I entitled to compensation?
Syndicate Minerals must obtain land holder’s consent, or a compensation agreement must be in place before work intended to be carried out within the licence area will be approved by the Department.
Pursuant to Section 85 of the MRSD Act, compensation is payable by the licence holder to the owner or occupier of private land that is affected by any loss or damage sustained as a direct, natural or reasonable consequence of the work undertaken in relation to an exploration licence. Compensation is not payable for the value of the minerals, nor is it a prerequisite for landholder consent. Compensation may be paid to land holders whose land is affected by exploration activities, which is defined by legislation to include land used for entry to the exploration area and includes the surface of the land to the depth of 100 metres. The following may be considered as loss or damage:
‘Land’ in context of the above is defined by legislation to include land used for entry to the exploration area and includes the surface of the land to a depth of 100 metres. Please note, compensation is not payable for the value of the minerals, nor is it a prerequisite for landholder consent. Further, the requirement to pay compensation or form an agreement does not give landholders the absolute power to control access. If an agreement cannot be reached, the compensation claim may be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in accordance with Part 10 of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (VIC). If the amount of compensation in dispute is greater than $50,000, either party may seek to resolve the matter by the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Pursuant to Section 45 of the MRSD Act, a licence holder must not conduct work, other than work using handheld tools, within 100 metres of a dwelling house unless with the consent of the landholder. Syndicate Minerals is aware of this obligation and understand the severe penalties which may be imposed by the Department upon noncompliance
How will concerns for environment and land use impacts be managed or addressed?
All areas in Victoria, unless specifically exempt (for example National Parks, State Parks and Wilderness Areas) are open to exploration and mining licence applications. Before any exploration activities may commence, a work plan addressing environmental risks must be approved by the Department, and a rehabilitation bond must be paid by the licence holder, to the Department. The rehabilitation bond represents security of payment for any rehabilitation work that may be necessary as a result of the exploration activities. Additionally, licence holders are bound by the Department’s Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration (“Code”). The Code provides practical guidance about how activities are to be conducted in order to meet legislative requirements and environmental standards. With respect to rehabilitation, licence holders are required to rehabilitate any land disturbed by the carrying out of work under the licence. Rehabilitation is to be undertaken in accordance with the work plan and licence conditions, which are set by the Department. The licence holder must also consult with the land holder about any proposed rehabilitation. Syndicate Minerals remains committed to environmental protection and endeavours to work closely with the Department and landholders to ensure successful rehabilitation and the responsible and sustainable use of any mineral assets which may be found following the grant of EL007382.
Proposed Program of Work - EL007382
Syndicate Minerals will take a staged approach to exploration on EL007382. Exploration will comprise the following office and field-based work:
- Compilation of historic data in company reports and plans available in the public domain;
- Interpretation of geological data and generation of targets;
- Field reconnaissance by a geologist to acquire detailed lithological and structural data;
- Airborne and ground based low impact geophysical surveys;
- Geochemical sampling programs comprising collection of small samples of rock or soil; and
- Testing of small priority target areas with reverse circulation or diamond core drilling.
Please do not hesitate to contact Syndicate Minerals via its agent, Hetherington Pty Ltd on (02) 9967 4844 if you have any questions or queries in relation to EL007382.
Systems for Managing Impact on the Community and Environment – EL007382
Syndicate Minerals recognises that its exploration activities may have an environmental and community impacts which will affect its licence to operate in the Heathcote region of Victoria. Syndicate Minerals is committed to operating in both an ethical and sustainable manner that minimises negative impacts on the community (including landowners and occupiers) and the environment.
Syndicate Minerals will ensure that the proposed exploration program for EL007382 will be well planned and managed to ensure that it has little or no lasting impact on the environment and imposes minimal disruption to the surrounding communities.
To properly manage the impact of the proposed work on the community and environment, all activities will be carried out in accordance with the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice: Standards, Procedures, and Practical Guidance under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development Act) 1990 (“Code of Practice”). Among other things, this includes the following practices:
Community Consultation – EL007382
Syndicate Minerals is required by Section 39A of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (VIC) to consult with the community throughout the period of the licence by:
Syndicate Minerals believes the community has the right to be informed and involved in decisions that will affect their area, lifestyles and interests. Accordingly, Syndicate Minerals is committed to establishing a thorough understanding of the concerns and needs of the community, so that these may addressed to the highest degree possible. To do so, Syndicate Minerals is committed to employing methods that allow for inclusive and accessible feedback mechanisms.
Syndicate Minerals will consult with the community (including landowners and occupiers) concerning the proposed exploration licence. Syndicate Minerals is committed to establishing and maintaining good working relationships with all community stakeholders and will consult with community stakeholders regarding a variety of relevant issues, including land access and impact, infrastructure, water, special local land issues, vehicle movements, sensitive flora and fauna, and heritage sites. The community consultation will take place before any disruptive field operations take place.
Alongside a Community Consultation and Engagement Plan, Syndicate Minerals plans to conduct the following community consultation activities:
Syndicate Minerals Pty Ltd