NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council will decide whether to support moves by Stawell Gold Mines to mine the landmark Big Hill at a council meeting tonight.
Mayor Wayne Rice said councillors toured the mine site on Wednesday to gain a solid understanding of the proposal and its implications.
"Council does not actually pass the permit so it will just be a discussion on whether we support it in principle," he said.
"That recommendation of support would then go to the Planning Minister and it is the Planning Minister who makes the decision whether the planning permit is issued or not.
"The tour was certainly good for councillor Paul Russell from Halls Gap and our two councillors from St Arnaud, because it was important they were able to see it.
"My personal impression is that I am impressed."
Cr Rice said he received his first phone call from a concerned shire resident on Thursday.
"I am surprised by that because I thought I would have had a lot of people making calls," he said.
"I am saying let us see what the consultation process brings and make a fully informed decision at the end of it.
"I hope that message has reached other people in the community and they are waiting before they make full judgment.''
Cr Rice encouraged shire residents to attend a Stawell Gold Mines environmental review committee meeting in Stawell RSL at 6.30pm tomorrow.