By Colin MacGillivray
PERTH-BASED mining company Torrens Mining has applied for exploration licences covering most of Mitchell Shire in the belief the area could yield significant gold deposits.
Torrens has already been granted an exploration licence – designated EL006775 by the State Government’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions – covering a large part of central Mitchell Shire, stretching from Tooborac and Pyalong in the north west to Nulla Vale in the south west, Sugarloaf Creek in the east and Hilldene in the north east.
The company has also applied for exploration licences stretching from just north of Wallan to the Mount Piper conservation area and encompassing Kilmore (EL007337); an area covering Tallarook and skirting the east, south and west edges of the Puckapunyal Military Area (EL007331); an area east of Seymour encompassing Whiteheads Creek (EL007380); and a small parcel of land north of the Puckapunyal base encompassing Graytown (EL007366).
The entire scope of the licence application areas is known as the Mount Piper Gold Project, and Torrens Mining managing director Steve Shedden said the company believed the land had excellent potential for yielding gold.
“The region is interesting to Torrens because of the existence of historical mining and prospecting in the region,” he said.
“The antiquity and uncertain quality of past regional exploration and different mining economics today suggests that potential deposits might have been completely missed by previous explorers in the 19th and 20th centuries.”
The Torrens website said the company believed the site had potential similar to mines further north at Nagambie and Fosterville due to the style of mineralisation in the area.
The Fosterville mine, east of Bendigo, is the largest gold producer in Victoria.
Mr Shedden said the name of the Mount Piper project was taken from a historically mined gold-antimony mineralisation within the Mount Piper Conservation Reserve.
The reserve was previously drilled by companies in the 1980s and 1990s, but both projects were abandoned due to the area’s conservation status.
Current licence applications surround the conservation area’s borders, and Mr Shedden said the area was permanently excluded from exploration.
Mr Shedden said if Torrens’ licences were granted, the next steps would include a compilation of historic data on the area, interpretation of geological data and generation of targets, field reconnaissance by a geologist, airborne and ground-based low-impact geophysical surveys, geochemical sampling of rock or soil, and testing of small priority target areas with reverse circulation or diamond core drilling, if warranted.
Mr Shedden said Torrens could only enter onto private land with the informed consent of the landowner.
Landholders can object to any licence application within 21 days of a notice of application. People can lodge an objection in writing to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. More information about the project is available at www.torrensmining.com/mt-piper.