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Gold Drilling to Begin

Gold Drilling to Begin

Community members opposing the plan

A gold mining company is set to start exploration drilling at Bruarong, just outside of Beechworth.

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Canadian-owned company Currawong Resources says it will be drilling in two areas from early June, weather permitting.

The work has been described by the company as "routine exploration work", and they say the drill sites will be rehabilitated after the project.

"We're a bit concerned and a bit in shock, it's sort of happened quite quickly," says Bruarong dairy farmer Kate McAlister.

"We do constantly get told, 'Oh it's just exploration, we're not talking a gold mine'. But at the end of the day, they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to explore for gold, so a gold mine has to be their goal, otherwise what's the point in doing it?"

Since the announcement she has joined a local group opposing various gold exploration licences in the area - called 'No Gold Drilling in our Shire Valleys' - and is determined to do something about it.

"With COVID, one thing that's taught us is that producing food locally is very important, and having a gold mine here can provide a lot of contaminants in the environment. Gold mining and producing quality food don't go together."

Ms McAlister says there is also concern about what impact mining could have on tourism.

"People love to escape the cities to our fresh water and clean waterways. If these are contaminated by chemicals associated with gold mining, how will that effect jobs then? Not to mention the noise, large trucks and machinery. Will tourists like that?"

Currawong Resources say this exploration will provide valuable insight into whether historical workings can be expanded.

"We adopt a proactive approach to compliance and exploration practices that protect our local environments and communities."

They say residents can contact with any questions.

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