Forestcare asks public to dig deep for mine protest

Wombat Forestcare held a  family fundraiser, Stop the Gold Rush in the Wombat Forest, at The Palais in Hepburn on Sunday.

 The event was to raise funds and publicity for the organisation which is trying to stop a proposed gold mine, Abel’s Reef at Bullarto.

 A number of bands donated their time and information about the proposed 5ha mine by Fortitude Mining was  available.

 Wombat Forestcare has been holding a number of non-violent demonstration workshops in readiness for the mine’s planned September 1 start date.

 Spokeswoman Gayle Osborne said a picnic and walk near the mine site would be held this Sunday September 2.

 Ms Osborne said while the group was not sure when the mine operators intended to start operations, they had to pay a pay a $30,000 bond and give seven days’ notice.

 “DPI will not list us for notification and have said we must check the DPI website. We do this frequently but if DPI don’t put up the (information) promptly we may not know,” she said.

 Fortitude Mining’s website says the company was established in 2011 “to focus particularly on small scale gold mining in Victoria”.

 “The first project for the company is to advance the development of the identified gold resource at Abel’s Reef on mining license MIN 5349, in The Wombat State Forest, some 17 kilometres south-east of Daylesford, Victoria,” the website says.

 “There is an estimated resource in the ‘indicated’ category of 120,000 tonnes of gold at 3.4 grams per tonne.

 “The work plan was recently approved; and part of the plan outlined a necessary community engagement process.

 “Naturally, being located in a State Forest, we all have a keen interest in the project area.”

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