AN Australian exploration company is seeking a six year licence to look for gold in an area spanning about 207 square kilometres around Crookwell, Laggan and Bannister.
New South Resources expects an outcome on its application from the Department of Planning between now and May.
If granted, the licence would give the company exclusive rights to look for gold on the land outlined in the application with the permissions of landowners including the council for crown land and Aboriginal land councils for Indigenous areas.
However, the company cannot explore national or regional parks, historic sites or nature reserves or areas within 200 metres of a residence without landowner and tenant permissions under the Mining Act 1992.
New South Resources CEO Glen Diemar, who is based in Orange, said while the company expected to find some gold in the area it would take a large amount of gold in a small area to establish a mine.
"We put down the licence (for the area) because we thought it was a nice continuation of north and south but we really don't know what's there," he said.
There are currently 861 active titles (applications, licences, leases, authorities, authorisations and tenements) for mineral exploration in NSW, according to the Department of Planning.
However, Mr Diemar said only some of those exploration licences would turn into significant mines.
"And that is only after many years to decades of community engagement, continuing exploration and social, environmental and economic studies and government permitting," he said.
The company would also have to purchase the land by negotiation to build a mine.
Mr Diemar said exploration would begin as light work and would be carried out by the company's two geologists.
"We might drive around meeting people, looking at road cuttings and rocks, soil sampling and mapping. We will be looking for the little windows in the basalt lava flows which have covered the underlying older rocks," he said.
"We also have other areas in NSW we are looking at so our time is proportioned."
He said the company would likely only start shallow drilling to study rocks beneath the surface after three years of exploration.
"And that hole is no different to any water bore a farmer has drilled before," Mr Diemar said.
Mr Diemar said New South Resources had been exploring NSW for gold and base metals for 13 years and was owned by a small handful of Australian shareholders, including himself.
"Mineral exploration is not something to be nervous about. In fact, it's quite the opposite," he said.
"Much of eastern Central West is also covered by similar exploration licences. Other communities in the Central West have found that there are many synergies between farming and the work geologists do. After all, we both study and use the earth to feed and house the nation.
"Just as we do elsewhere, we would be thrilled to share the knowledge we gather about the rocks underneath with the locals on top."
Is the shire sitting on a gold mine?
Many Upper Lachlan Shire residents know the local hills contain gold and exploration in the area isn't new.
Last November company Silver Mines surveyed from the south of Trunkey Creek to the south of Tuena for gold and drilling was due to begin early in 2020.
In 1851, gold was first discovered in the Abercrombie River, north of Tuena and people rushed to the town in search of their fortune.
These days, locals and tourists pan for gold at the river and other parts of the shire using gold pans and shovels.
There is also a mineral exploration licence covering about 123 square kilometres west of Taralga.
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