Bird in Hand Gold Project update

As part of the regulatory process set out in the Mining Act 1971, the South Australian Government is now in the final stage of assessing the Terramin Bird in Hand Gold Mine Application. As part of that process, the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM), in collaboration with technical experts from multiple government departments, identified a need for additional information to support the comprehensive assessment.

In summary, Government requested further information from Terramin in relation to:

  1. How Terramin’s proposed controlled inundation management strategy for the mine would work in conjunction with other relevant strategies including:
    1. underground pumping and staging capacity
    2. water storage
    3. water treatment, and
    4. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) capacity.
  2. The potential consequence of stopping what is known as ‘managed aquifer recharge’ at the time of mine closure, including the potential for drawdown at nearby groundwater wells during the period of time it takes for groundwater equilibrium to be reached (that is when groundwater returns to a steady state).
  3. Updated information on the status of exempt land relevant to the applications.

Terramin responded on 15 November 2021, then resubmitted their response on 1 December 2021 due to some administrative errors they had identified.

What happens next?

The Government will now complete its comprehensive assessment and provide a recommendation to the decision-maker for the project applications.

The Government will take the necessary time to ensure a comprehensive assessment occurs and all relevant matters are carefully considered. There is no set time frame for completion of the assessment, however government understands the interest of all stakeholders in the timely resolution of the decision-making process.

If the applications are refused, the application process ends. If the applications are approved and a lease ultimately granted, that lease would be accompanied by significant obligations for the proponent, including the requirement to prepare detailed operating plans developed in consultation with stakeholders, which must be approved by government technical experts before any work can start. the Whether the application is refused or approved, everyone who made a submission to government on Terramin’s applications will be informed of the decision.

Terramin's final response document

On 23 August 2021 DEM formally accepted the latest version (version 3) of Terramin's response document.

The final Terramin response document is fully inclusive of all requests from DEM and responses from Terramin.

Responses to DEM requests can be found in the final response document. References to these responses are listed below:

DEM request for response Where to find Terramin's response in the final document
DEM's initial request for response 7 February 2020 (PDF, 2.1 MB) Refer to Table 4  (page 18) and Table 7 (page 142)
DEM's second request for response 23 June 2020 (PDF 326 KB) Refer to Table 5  (page 110)
DEM's final request for response  23 June 2021 (PDF 338 KB) Refer to Table 6  (page 132)
Terramin have included their response to public submissions received in the final response document Refer to Section 4 and Tables 8 to 11 (page 149)

Where we are at in the assessment process

Bird in Hand status August 2021

More information about the project

  • Terramin propose development of an underground gold mine near Woodside on the site of the Historic Bird in Hand gold mine, approximately 5 km south-southeast of Lobethal. The purpose of the development is for the recovery of gold and to a lesser extent silver.

    Terramin intend to transport ore from Woodside to Strathalbyn to utilise existing ore processing and tailings storage facilities at Angas Zinc Mine (ML 6229), approximately 10 km southeast of Macclesfield.

    Location of Bird in Hand gold project

  • In Table 1 of the response document Terramin have provided their analysis of broad matters raised in public submissions. The response to these matters is provided in Tables 8 to 11 of the response document.

    Where the submitter requested that their name be withheld the submission can be identified by the submission ID number which corresponds with submissions published on this webpage.

  • At this stage of the process the Mining Act 1971 does not include any additional or subsequent statutory public consultation steps.

    In accepting Terramin’s response document, Government has assessed that there is sufficient information to undertake our final assessment. This includes the applications, mining proposal, miscellaneous purposes licence (MPL) management plan, public submissions and response document.

  • Assessment process

    The decision-making process

    On 7 February 2020 the Department for Energy and Mining requested that Terramin respond to all public submissions and matters raised by Government in a response document. Since that request the following response document, submissions and DEM requests have occurred:

    • 20 April 2020 - Terramin submitted a response document
    • 23 June 2020 - DEM requested additional information to be provided in a revised response document
    • 5 March 2021 - Terramin submitted version 2 of the response document
    • 23 June 2021 - DEM requested additional information be provided in a final response document due 23 September 2021
    • 23 July 2021 -  Terramin submitted the final response document that has been accepted by DEM

    Public consultation and assessment process

    The South Australian Government is committed to involving communities in decisions that affect their lives. We recognise that local people have knowledge and perspectives about their local environment and interests, and that this information is important for informing Government decision-making, as well as informing a proponent’s project design. Accordingly, and part of normal process, Terramin’s applications have been made available to all stakeholders for comments and submissions. This follows the requirements of the Mining Act 1971.

    Stakeholders have been able to make submissions on any aspect of the application which will be considered as part of the comprehensive technical assessments that will be undertaken by the South Australian Government.

    Notice of the consultation period was published in:

    • the South Australian Government Gazette
    • The Advertiser
    • The Courier (Mount Barker)
    • The Adelaide Hills Weekender Herald
    • Southern Argus (Strathalbyn)
    • The Times (Victor Harbor)

    and on this website, inviting members of the public to make submissions regarding the applications from 11 July 2019 until 20 September 2019.

    The Department for Energy and Mining received 254 public submissions.

    To ensure transparency full copies of all submissions (excluding personal details where requested) are published below.

    Public submissions

  • Terramin's applications

    Terramin submitted two primary applications for the Bird in Hand Gold Project, to meet the requirements of the Mining Act 1971, and set out the company's proposed approach to meeting the relevant requirements of the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

    The Department for Energy and Mining has declared the mining proposal and management plan submitted in support of the Bird in Hand Gold Project adequate for assessment.

    Note: The mining proposal initially released on the Terramin website was updated following a request from DEM for additional information (see 27 June 2019 letter below). The following sections of the mining proposal were changed: Executive Summary, 3.7.9.6.5, 4.1.2, 4.1.3.1, 10.1.2, 10.6.2.2, 21.3.5, Appendix B8 and Appendix K1.

    Application requirements

    Every mining application must follow a specific process. The statutory process moves through a number of stages. With the Bird in Hand Gold Project, the current stage is the Government requesting the applicant to develop a detailed response document to address the public and Government submissions.

    The South Australian Government recognises the particular community and commercial interests arising from the location of the Bird in Hand Gold Project. In April 2017, on advice from technical specialists in the South Australian Department for Energy and Mining, the Department for Environment and Water and the Environment Protection Authority, a project-specific Ministerial Determination was published setting out the minimum requirements of a mining lease application for the Bird in Hand Gold Project. The Determination for a Mining Proposal for the Bird in Hand Gold Project sets out the information that must be provided by Terramin, including information to be obtained from in-depth studies on the interaction between the proposed mine, the environment (particularly groundwater), adjacent businesses, residents and the local community.

    The miscellaneous purposes licence application for processing of gold ore at the Angas Zinc Mine must be prepared in accordance with Ministerial Determination Terms of Reference 006: Mineral mine lease/licence applications

    Terramin were also required to openly engage with all stakeholders (that is interested members of the public, local businesses and so on) when developing both documents.

    The mining lease application

    A mining lease application for the underground gold mine and associated infrastructure at Woodside has been submitted, in accordance with section 35 of the Mining Act 1971, including a mining proposal that complies with the project-specific requirements for the Bird in Hand Gold Project.

    Miscellaneous purposes licence application

    A miscellaneous purposes licence application for the processing of gold ore at the Angas Zinc Mine has been submitted, in accordance with section 53 of the Mining Act 1971, accompanied by a management plan that complies with Ministerial Determination 006.

    Project related correspondence

    Correspondence between Terramin and DEM

    Correspondence from Government to the WCCC

    Presentations to the Woodside Community Consultative Committee (WCCC)

    Presentation at Public Meeting held on 19 August 2019 at Woodside by DEM

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