News

18/12/23 – NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Completes

The New South Wales Parliamentary Inquiry into “current and potential impacts of gold, silver, lead and zinc mining on human health, land, air and water quality in New South Wales” has concluded with its final report published on Friday 15 December 2023.

The findings and recommendations of the Inquiry highlight the importance of mining to the New South Wales economy, the rigorous nature of the planning approval processes as well as the robustness of the regulatory bodies that administer the industry. The report also highlights the importance of the metalliferous mining industry’s role in the transition to net zero.

In the Company’s view, the findings and recommendations will not result in any material change for the development or production operations of the Bowdens Silver Project.

For instance, certain recommendations have been made for the mining industry and if put into effect by the Government, will not alter the development or production operations of the Bowdens Silver Project. As an example, the Inquiry has recommended more detailed environmental monitoring for the mining industry, however, this will not affect Bowdens Silver as we have committed to best practice for our comprehensive monitoring systems and thorough management and environmental plans.

The Inquiry published the following findings:

  1. That mining is a significant industry for the New South Wales economy, employing 4,000 workers contributing $28.8 billion in Gross State Product and providing $4.65 billion in government revenue from royalties. Mining plays a significant role in regional economies in local employment, and supporting local community groups.
  2. That metals and minerals mining is of particular importance for the transition to net zero and for Australia’s sovereign capability. Use of NSW’s mineral resources provides significant export opportunities as well as the potential to develop and expand domestic processing and manufacturing of these minerals.
  3. The Environment Protection Authority operates under a regulatory framework which generally includes a strong toolkit with which to regulate pollution incidents.
  4. The maximum penalty of $15,000 for Tier 3 offences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 is often inadequate and can fail to act as a deterrent to large or multinational companies.
  5. That water metal level testing conducted by the Environment Protection Authority concludes drinking water near the Cadia mine is within the National Safe Water Guidelines.
  6. That there may be a concern for the quality of water within tanks throughout the state.
  7. That recent soil testing conducted by the EPA drew the same results as soil testing conducted prior to Cadia’s construction.
  8. That the regulatory bodies work across the mining sector and the detailed frameworks they administer, are fundamentally sound.

The entire report and recommendations to government can be found here.

20/12/2023 UPDATE: Rescheduled Exploration Activities & Short Closure of Maloneys Road

Further to our previously advised correspondence below, due to changes made by our contractors, the planned blasting activities associated with the bulk sampling program have been further rescheduled and are now planned to occur on Friday 22 December 2023. This is due to occur within a window from 10am to 2pm with Maloneys Road being temporarily closed for 30 minutes at time of blasting to ensure road user and contractor safety.

We are hopeful that there are no more unexpected delays and apologise for any inconvenience.

15/12/23 Rescheduled Exploration Activities & Short Closure of Maloneys Road

This notice is to update community members on our previously advised and subsequently rescheduled activities occurring at the Bowdens Silver Project.

Bulk Sample Program & Short Closure of Maloneys Road

Preparation work including earthworks and drilling have been completed for the bulk sampling program that is located within the approved open cut pit area in three locations east of Maloneys Road. The remainder of the program will involve the collection of ore for metallurgical tests at three identified areas and the initiation of blasts to dislodge the required material. Screening and loading of material for transport will also occur. As part of our normal exploration procedures, pre-activity clearance checks will be conducted to ensure the safety of any wildlife in the vicinity. These activities will occur Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am to 6pm.

Due to changes to the program, we will now only be conducting two small explosive blasts. As such, Maloneys Road will be closed in the vicinity of the activity. This closure will be for approximately 30 minutes and dependent on operational requirements and weather conditions, will occur around 2:00pm on the most suitable day between Tuesday 19th December 2023 and Thursday 21st December 2023. Traffic management will be in place along Maloneys Road to ensure the safety of road users and contractors. During the short closure period, road users may need to utilise Bara Road if required.

The bulk sampling program, including blasting, is an exploration activity that has been approved by the NSW Resources Regulator under our Exploration Licence 5920 and is not related to mine commencement. The temporary road closure has been approved by Mid-Western Regional Council on behalf of the licensed blasting contractor.

15/11/23 Upcoming Exploration Activities & Short Road Closure

 

 

22/11/23 UPDATE: Please be advised that our planned blasts and short closure of Maloneys Road that were due to occur this afternoon have been postponed. Once these activities have been rescheduled, we will advise of updated details in due course.

 

 

This notice is to update community members on activities at the Bowdens Silver Project site at Lue as part of ongoing exploration for the Bowdens Silver Project.

Bulk Sample Program

As previously advised, a bulk sampling program is planned to occur on site. Due to contractor availability, this program that was due to commence in September is occurring on site in the coming week. This work will be happening within the approved open cut pit area in three locations east of Maloneys Road. The program will involve the collection of ore for metallurgical tests. The program will involve the drilling of three identified areas and the initiation of blasts to dislodge the required material. Screening and loading of material for transport will also occur. These activities will occur Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am to 6pm.

Short Closure of Maloneys Road

Due to the program involving the initiation of three small explosive blasts, Maloneys Road will be closed in the vicinity of the activity for approximately 30 minutes around 2:00pm on Wednesday 22nd November 2023. Traffic management will be in place along Maloneys Road to ensure the safety of road users and contractors. During the short closure period, road users may need to utilise Bara Road if required.

All work will be conducted in line with the relevant state and local government approvals.

Further information can be obtained by calling (02) 6373 6420 or via email at information@bowdenssilver.com.au

15/8/23 – Upcoming Exploration Activities

This notice is to update community members on Project Optimisation activities planned at the Bowdens Silver Project site at Lue and regional exploration within Exploration Licences as part of ongoing exploration for the Bowdens Silver Project.

Bowdens Silver Project Site (within MLA601):

Sterilisation and Exploration Drilling

Drilling is planned to continue at the Bowdens Silver Project near Lue, with a focus to sterilise a number of areas that are required for construction of infrastructure as part of the Mine Development. Drilling will predominantly be within the planned waste rock emplacement area and will commence in September 2023, continuing throughout 2024. Activities will mainly occur Monday to Friday in line with relevant government approvals.

Bulk Sample Program

A bulk sampling program is also planned to occur at the Bowdens Silver Project near Lue over approximately two weeks in September 2023. This will occur within the approved open cut pit area in three locations east of Maloneys Road. The program will involve the collection of approximately 21 tonnes of ore to inform further metallurgical test work and future ore recovery rates. This activity will occur Monday to Friday in line with relevant government approvals.

Regional Exploration:

Seismic Survey

A seismic survey will be completed within eight of the Company’s Exploration Licences to commence in late August and continue throughout September 2023. The activity involves mechanically dropping a steel plate on the ground and measuring the seismic response via receivers placed approximately 10cm into the ground. It will be conducted along certain sections of the public road reserves of Bara-Lue Road, Maloneys Road, Pyangle Road, Botobolar Road, Bara Road, Wollar Road, Jennings Road, Bylong Valley Way and Cudgegong Road as well as private land. The activity will utilise a tractor or bobcat to generate the seismic source and typically moves quickly along pre-defined lines. Traffic management will be in place along the public roads to ensure the safety of road users and contractors. Access to private properties will not be impacted. The activity will occur Monday to Sunday in line with local and state government approvals.

Further information can be obtained by calling (02) 6373 6420, via email at information@bowdenssilver.com.au

5/4/23: Bowdens Silver Project Achieves Final Development Approval

Bowdens Silver is pleased to advise the community that the Independent Planning Commission of New South Wales (IPC) has approved the Bowdens Silver Project (the Project), allowing it to proceed to development and production subject to conditions of consent.

The decision means the Bowdens Silver Project is a step closer to creating hundreds of jobs and delivering a significant economic boost to the Mid-Western region. It follows a thorough assessment process, involving 14 NSW Government departments and agencies, rigorous independent peer reviews, and extensive consultation with the community and key stakeholders.

This is a significant milestone for the company and Project, and we appreciate it has been a long and thorough process for the entire community to ensure that we can deliver an environmentally, economically, and socially responsible mining operation. We appreciate the community’s ongoing patience and understanding, and the considered contributions they have made throughout the assessment process.

The IPC’s Statement of Reasons for Decision acknowledged community concerns that were raised throughout the assessment process, however stated it “is satisfied that the Project can meet all relevant requirements for protecting human health and safety and that on balance, the Application is in the public interest.” The full document can be found here.

Next Steps

There is still a lot of work to do before the mine begins operations. Next steps for the Project is the completion of our management and engineering plans along with the completion of mine optimisation studies to further enhance the development and production operations. This work will continue throughout 2023 with development hopefully commencing in 2024. We now look forward to getting on with delivering the Project and we will be continuing to engage with the local community as we progress to the development stage.

23/12/22: Bowdens Silver Project Achieves Major Approvals Milestone

Bowdens Silver is pleased to advise that the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has assessed the Bowdens Silver Project (the Project) as being in the public interest and approvable subject to conditions of consent. The DPE has now referred the Project to the Independent Planning Commission of New South Wales (IPC) for final determination.

The IPC will review the DPE’s Assessment Report and consider submissions from stakeholders before making a final determination. This will be the final step in the NSW planning approvals process.

The DPE states, “On balance, the Department considers that the benefits of the project outweigh its residual costs and that the project is in the public interest and is approvable, subject to strict conditions of consent”.

We are also pleased that the DPE considers that Bowdens Silver has designed the project in a way that would achieve a practicable balance between maximising resource recovery and minimising associated impacts on the surrounding landholders and the environment through best practice contemporary practices and mitigation measures. It also notes the significance of the project’s resource, the increasing focus on minerals mining with decreasing reliance on coal and fossil fuels in the mining and energy sector and the associated growing demand for raw metals (including silver and zinc) due to urbanisation, electrification, a range of technological development and transition to renewable energies. The Department considers that the project would result in considerable economic benefits to the region and to the State of NSW through employment and royalties.

This is a major step forward in the approval process and follows extensive technical and environmental assessments along with close consultation with the community, stakeholders and NSW Government agencies over the past years. Our team has delivered a robust and environmentally responsible project and this decision is recognition of the significant long-term economic and social benefits the Project will deliver for local communities across Lue, Rylstone, Kandos and the broader Mid-Western Region.

The Bowdens Silver Project is Australia’s largest undeveloped silver deposit and one of the largest globally. The mine’s 23-year life, including 16.5 years of silver production and by-products of zinc and lead, underpins significant value potential for Bowdens Silver.

The IPC will likely call a Public Hearing for early 2023 with a final determination to be made soon thereafter.

The Bowdens Silver Project Assessment Report and other information can be found at: https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au.

18/11/22: Strong turnout for Bowdens Silver community events

Bowdens Silver extends its thanks to all the members of the community who joined them on-site at their Community Open Day on Saturday 5 November, and at the subsequent drop-in sessions in Mudgee on Monday 7 November and Rylstone on Tuesday 8 November.

Over 100 people from across the region attended the three events to learn more about Bowdens Silver’s proposal for an open-cut silver mine near Lue, which will deliver long-term social and economic benefits to local communities across the Mid-Western region.

Open Day attendees were provided an update by Bowdens Silver Managing Director, Anthony McClure, and had the chance to chat to a range of technical experts to ask any questions they had about the Project. The drop-in sessions were also attended by the Project’s technical experts and provided a chance for those who missed out on the Open Day to meet the team.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to come out to our events on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, and for making them such a success,” said Mr McClure. “We’re proud to enjoy strong local support and it was great to see so many new and familiar faces coming out to to hear about the progress we have made. Our team thoroughly enjoyed answering a range of engaging questions and discussing the significant opportunities it presents for local workers, businesses, and suppliers. It was encouraging to see people excited about the Project and the opportunities it brings for the community. There was particular interest in our refined water management and supply strategy, which was updated following community consultation, and it was pleasing to hear positive feedback. We will continue to engage regularly and openly as part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining transparency and upholding a positive two-way relationship with communities across the Mid-Western region.”

Bowdens Silver’s community events occurred as the Project enters the latter stages of the planning approvals process. The Project’s most recent Response to Submissions report was recently published on the NSW Planning Portal and this is now being assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) before referral to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

5/9/22: Maiden Underground Mineral Resource

Bowdens Silver reached another important milestone recently with the announcement of its Maiden Underground Mineral Resource. The Resource totals 42.9 million ounces of silver equivalent and lies directly underneath the Open Cut Mineral Resource. This Resource is the result of extensive exploration drilling (almost 35km) and provides the potential for a contiguous underground operation in addition to the planned open pit operation currently in the final stages of the approval process.

The Mineral Resources at the Bowdens Silver Project now total in excess of 315 million ounces of silver equivalent, making it one of the largest undeveloped silver projects in the world. Encouragingly, the mineralised system remains open at depth and is showing a higher amount of gold than seen previously. The company will continue its ongoing drilling program to further define the vast mineralised system.

The company is also completing a Scoping Study for potential underground mining scenarios. This is separate to, and does not affect the current proposed open pit development.

Further information on the above can be found via: SVL Announcement – Maiden Underground Mineral Resource

17/5/22: Exploration Activity Update – “Barabolar”

Exploration drilling activities are planned to recommence at the Barabolar prospect on or around 27th of May. The program is expected to be conducted over an approximate two month timeframe and will be conducted in line with relevant government approvals. This drill program is following up on previous, initial geological mapping and surveys conducted in the area (pre Covid-19). Activities on site will include one diamond drill rig, associated field crew and geological support teams and will be operating Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am and 6pm (drill operating times will likely be shorter than these hours).