STAWELL Gold Mines must complete an environmental effects statement before its Big Hill Enhanced Development Project can be considered for approval.
The mine will take the next step towards open cut mining Stawell landmark Big Hill following an announcement by Planning Minister Matthew Guy earlier today.
Mr Guy said the mine would need to complete an environmental effects statement before its Big Hill Enhanced Development Project could be considered for approval.
Stawell Gold Mines general manager Troy Cole welcomed the decision.
"This announcement provides us with clarification; we now know which approvals path we need to follow," he said.
"Now that we have received the EES referral decision our parent company, Crocodile Gold Corporation, has more information on which to base its commercial decision about whether the Big Hill Enhanced Development Project will proceed through the EES approvals pathway."
Mr Cole estimates the project would take four to five years to complete and use the gold resource adjacent to Stawell Gold Mines' current underground operations, which are expected to wind down by the end of the year.
He expects the project would create 80 to 100 jobs, produce 2.3 million tonnes of ore and result in 32-hectares of rehabilitated Crown land at Big Hill and surrounds.
Stawell Gold Mines must wait for the Minister to release the scoping requirements for the EES.
These requirements determine the extent of the EES to ensure all issues are addressed.
The scoping requirements will be available for public comment for a minimum of 15 business days before being finalised by the State Government.