Mineral exploration full steam ahead in Victoria

Victoria has demonstrated a presence for antimony, titanium, zirconium, rare earth elements, copper, silica and high purity alumina.
Victoria has demonstrated a presence for antimony, titanium, zirconium, rare earth elements, copper, silica and high purity alumina.

The search for materials needed to support the renewable energy transition and make technology products is heating up across Victoria.

Victoria has demonstrated presence of antimony, titanium, zirconium and rare earth elements, as well as opportunities for other key raw materials such as copper, silica and high purity alumina.

New exploration licences have been granted across the State to target these minerals and metals, in particular, antimony, zircon, copper and mineral sands.

The Earth Resources Regulator has approved 50 new mineral exploration licences in FY24, with six granted in June so far.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, exploration spending across Victoria for the year to March 2024 was over $130m.

Resources Victoria chief executive Matt Vincent commented on the grant of the licences.

“We have strong critical mineral opportunities across the State – the CSIRO assessed that the Murray Basin mineral sand deposits alone, which are mostly in Victoria, contain an in-ground value of at least $200b,” he said.

“While gold exploration spend across Australia has declined in the last year or two, investment in the search for critical minerals has been more consistent and is shaping up to boom in the coming years.”

In Central Victoria, exploration will target gold, silver and antimony mineralisation, while in South-West Victoria, new licences will target mineral sands that could include titanium, zirconium and rare earth elements, plus copper, zinc, lead and gold.

In Western Victoria, a new retention licence will enable the assessment for zircon, gold, rutile and high purity quartz silica development. Retention licences are the second phase of minerals development and allow explorers to see if responsible development is feasible.