Want to know more?

We have included several documents below to help you understand exploration and our environmental processes and procedures.


Currawong operates under an Exploration Licence granted by the State Government of Victoria who is responsible for the development of all mineral resources. Exploration Licences are usually granted for a period of 5 years.

Exploration techniques, including drilling, are strictly controlled, and regulated under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990. Drilling requires a DJPR section Earth Resources and Regulations approved Work Plan. A Work Plan requires a thorough and wide-ranging set of information including:

  • heritage and environmental reviews and possible impacts,
  • details on proposed works & methodology,
  • landowner compensation agreements,
  • administrative plans,
  • proposed environmental impact mitigation.

These Work Plans are vetted, reviewed and possibly approved by a variety of government departments, which can take some months.

As such the company employs a variety of low-impact exploration techniques to search for minerals.

Currawong actively pursues a policy of low environmental impact at all sites and exploration projects. Low impact exploration restricts the removal of trees or the clearing of access tracks and other land. Land managers and landowners are always consulted in these matters and for Crown Land managers such as Parks Victoria or DELWP Forests consent is required from them prior to any drilling being conducted.

Mapping, geochemical (soil and rock sampling) and geophysical surveys are all regarded as low impact activities.

Exploration programs apply a systematic approach to collect samples to define areas of potential economic mineralisation. These can involve:


  1. Office-based desk top studies to determine the nature of geology and mineralisation within the application area to guide targeted on-ground exploration efforts;


  1. Mapping and rock chip sampling over areas of interest identified in office studies, including historic mine dumps and areas of geological outcrop. Mapping is usually done with the aid of handheld GPS navigation to survey the location of geological evidence for the purposes of making maps. Sampling is completed using a small hammer and simply taking small rock chips usually up to about 3kg in weight. These rock samples are sent to laboratories for analyses to determine the gold or other metal content.


  1. Geochemical soil sampling involves the collection of small 300 to 500g soil sample taken from at 15 to 30cm depth by hand digging or auguring. Each site location is recorded by handheld GPS and then backfilled. These samples are taken along traverses usually at 20 to 50m apart covering prospective areas that have been identified in mapping and rock chip sampling. These soil samples are sent to laboratories for analyses to determine the gold or other metal content, to further illustrate the extent of the mineralisation or area that contains anomalous gold content. Sample sites are backfilled immediately


Auger Soil sampling technique and equipment


  1. Geophysical surveys typically use electronic devices that measure the variation in the near surface rock formations of parameters such as gravity, magnetics or resistivity and electrical conductivity.  These surveys, may be conducted on foot, mounted on a vehicle, or mounted on an aircraft. Geophysics may help build a detail image of the geology of the area. It is a non-invasive process.


  1. Percussion or reverse circulation (“RC”) drilling. This drilling method is used as rapid reconnaissance of the geological and mineralisation targets generated by the previous techniques. This is the same machinery as used for water-bores. Drills holes use air from a compressor, which drives the drilling equipment in the hole and helps push the samples of crushed or ground rock up the pipe for sample collection in a cyclone. The drilling machinery for this type of drilling utilises a truck or track mounted drill rig and a compressor unit usually mounted on another truck to supply air for drilling. A four-wheeled drive support vehicle is used for the drill crew and another for the geological crew. The drilling crew consists of two or three people – a driller / operator and assistant(s).


  • Drill depths usually range from 30m to 150m with a diameter of 10cm to 15cm (4 to 6 inches).
  • The technique usually drills about 120 to 150m per day depending on hole depth and drilling conditions. Samples are bagged & taken at one-meter intervals. A sub-sample of this larger sample is then extracted and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The analyses reveal the metal content of the drilled intervals.
  • The drilling machine and crew operates only during daytime to minimise risk and noise exposure to the local community.
  • Samples are removed from site; drill holes are surveyed for location and the site is then rehabilitated and monitored for any ongoing environmental issues for a further 12 months.

Percussion drilling rig with support truck carrying compressor in the background

Percussion drilling rig with bagged samples in the background


6. Diamond Drilling to used extract a continuous cylindrical core of rock rather than rock chips as created by percussion drilling. The drilling rig has a smaller footprint than a percussion rig. The diamond drill rig is usually truck or track mounted, but smaller rigs may be skid mounted for use in difficult terrain. They generally require a support truck to move supplies and at least one support light vehicle to move crew. The crew consists of three personnel: the driller and two assistants or labourers.

  • Water is injected into the hole to lubricate and cool the diamond-tipped drill equipment in the hole. Sometimes the water is mixed with other ingredients, such as bentonite clay, to help stabilise the drill hole when in broken and fractured rock. The drilling additives are totally biodegradable or natural.
  • Diamond drilling can deliver rock sample from over 1,000m below surface but is one of the most expensive and time-consuming drilling techniques available. The technique usually is capable of drilling 20 meters per day, so a 200m hole may take a fortnight or so.
  • The drilling machine and crew operates only during daytime to minimise risk and noise exposure to the local community.
  • Samples are removed from site; drill holes are surveyed for location and the site is then rehabilitated and monitored for any ongoing environmental issues for a further 12 months.

A large track mounted drill rig capable of drilling 1000m deep.


  1. Bulk Sampling or trenching. Bulk sampling is used to extract a quantity of material from a trench or small pit to be analysed for overall potential mineral content. Trenching is used to expose a geological feature. This activity is not recommended by Currawong Resources and is not proposed on any sites, because it has a more significant environmental impact and therefore requires a more rigorous rehabilitation program.


  1. Rehabilitation and environmental monitoring are conducted on all sites where significant activities have taken place. In the case of drilling, each drill site is photographed before, during and after the rehabilitation so that it is clear what work has been done and that the impacts of that work are minimal, as well as the assurance and quality of the rehabilitation are complete. Further monitoring of these former drill sites is required to ensure that the area does not deteriorate after completing the rehabilitation.


It is important to note that an Exploration Licence does not allow an operator to conduct mining activities.  Mining falls under a completely different licence and approval process and must be granted for any mining activities to occur.

More information:

Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration, Appendix 2.



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Currawong Resources has Emergency Response Plans that detail measures to reduce the chance of fire occurring. We work closely with the local CFA brigade when planning and conducting its exploration programs.

Over the summer period Currawong’s exploration programs involve the following measures to mitigate the chance of Fire:

  • Pre-exploration season meeting or discussion with CFA to coordinate activities and up-date and incorporate any new procedures and lessons learned from the previous season.


  • Maintaining regular contact with local CFA brigade so they are aware of when and where we are operating, to reduce response times, should they be needed


  • Every drill site has a dedicated firefighting hose, nozzle, pump and water storage of 1000L.


  • Fire extinguishers of the size, type and location required by Occupational Health and Safety legislation are carried on all relevant equipment at all sites. Crew are trained to ensure they can use the equipment correctly.


  • On hot days vehicle movement is minimised, weather forecasts are monitored*, and CFA warnings factored into all planned activities.


  • Exploration activities do not occur on Code Red Days. Exploration activities are modified or cancelled on days of Total Fire Ban (TFB). Drilling does not occur on TFB days.


Fire protection and preparedness is regulated by Worksafe and Earth Resources Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004) and Forests (Fire Protection) Regulations 2014.

Currawong’s Emergency Response Planning includes Fire Response and Readiness Plan is set by the operating standard required by Licence Conditions, under the Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration and relevant legislation.




More information:         Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration, Part C – 14. wwwwww.earthresources.vic.gov.au

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INFORMATION SHEET – COMMUNITY AMENITY (Noise, dust, traffic, lighting)


Currawong is aware that from time to time its activities may have an impact on members of the community who live close to our exploration activity. Impacts on amenity normally range from dust, noise, lighting and traffic.


Controls to minimise these potential impacts on Community Amenity are outlined in the Code of Conduct for Mineral Exploration, Currawong is required to abide by this Code. EPA’s State Environmental Protection Policies are the regulatory requirements that underpin the Code.


All activities are planned and executed with the objective of minimising the impact on Community Amenity.  Where practicable adaptations can be made to reduce the impacts on nearby residents.


Key controls applied by Currawong to manage amenity include (but are not limited to):


  • Use of acoustic screens to reduce noise.


  • Modifying operating hours to reduce noise and minimise dust emissions.


  • Careful selection of low noise machinery and reliable contractors.


  • Induction of all personnel to manage amenity related behaviours.


  • High level of equipment maintenance.


  • Use of dust controlling methods or equipment.


  • Minimising vehicle movements.


  • Use of water to reduce dust from exposed surfaces and roads.


  • Careful positioning of lighting to prevent light shed outside of work area.


  • Regular site inspections and audits.


  • Monitoring of amenity impacts.


We encourage the neighbours in the community to make us aware of any impacts or concerns in relation to amenity whilst it is occurring. This can enable a practical resolution.


More information:         Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration www.earthresources.vic.gov.au


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Currawong has a legal obligation to fully rehabilitate any impact to the environment as a consequence of its mineral exploration activities.


Currawong has recently executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Project Platypus to assist with its rehabilitation responsibilities.  This will involve seeking advice and working with an independent, qualified environmental professional.  Currawong will also support Landcare in its conservation activities across other areas important to the wider community.


Prior to drilling of an exploration site, a photographic record is taken and any significant vegetation is identified and fenced off.


The following rehabilitation activities are undertaken immediately after the completion of drilling:


  • Backfill the hole with surplus drill material;


  • Remove poly pipe or cut below ground level and insert a hole plug;


  • Backfill hole and mound with surplus material to allow for settling to the original surface level;


  • Mark hole with dumpy peg/pin tag/ wooden stake if required for later survey pick-up;


  • Restore original land contours of drill site;


  • Remove all plastic sheets, foreign material and samples and dispose of in an approved waste facility;


  • Rake surrounding leaf litter / grass over disturbed site. Consider random placement of sticks and small logs to resemble pre-drill condition;


  • Consider shallow ripping of the site and associated access tracks (with light machinery if required) as per agreement with landholder or land manager;


  • If required, apply seed to achieved desired rehabilitation outcome (e.g. pasture, crop, native seed) as per agreement with landholder or land manager;


  • Take photographic record of site / access tracks immediately before and after rehabilitation (from same position as pre-drilling photos if possible);


  • Completion of an Environmental Activities Report (template attached); and


  • Audit, including photographic record, in 6 and 12 months for any subsidence & review environmental recovery.


More information:         Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration Part C – 26.



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Some drilling methods require the use of water.


For diamond drilling, water is used to lubricate and stabilise the drill hole as well as cool the drill bit due to friction whilst drilling.  In some drill holes groundwater may also be intersected in the drilling process, which can aid the diamond drilling and supplement the water requirement.


For percussion drilling groundwater can also be encountered, just as water borers aim to do, in which case the water can aid the return of the drill cuttings to surface as it drills through rock.


If extra water is required it will be sourced from available water supplies located nearby, which require permission from the local authorities.  These sources of water are usual managed by the local Catchment Authority, such as Coliban Water or Melbourne Water, as well as the local government council such as the various Shires.


The drilling method that requires the most water use is diamond drilling.  As an example, a diamond drilling rig on average uses approximately 2000 to 4000 litres of water per day depending upon ground conditions. Most of this added water is lost into the groundwater table through cracks and fractures in the rock. In some cases, the groundwater present is sufficient to keep the drill turning. Excess water that returns to surface is captured and recycled back down the drill hole to minimise water consumption. Tanks are used to capture the water that is returned to surface and these act as a buffer in the water supply cycle, thus the process is fully self-contained.


The water used in the drilling process is returned to its source – the groundwater table. All drilling additives are fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly to prevent contamination of aquifers as per Currawong’s Exploration Licence requirements and DEDJTR Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration recommended practice.


More information:         Code of Practice for Mineral Exploration, Part C – 10 & 11.

www www.earthresources.vic.gov.au


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