Drilling has progressed since July-August 2016 when a limited exploration drilling programme was commenced. An airborne geophysics survey was also successfully completed across EL8064 during 2017.
As at the end of 2018, eighteen boreholes have been completed across the licence. Drilling will recommence during 2019, whilst the renewal application is being considered, with one or two drill rigs active at any one time.
As experienced to date, proposed drill sites will be prepared in close consultation with landholders on the relevant properties. Residents will also continue to see periodic movements of drilling and other equipment on public roads, as well as traffic movements of geologists and drilling company personnel.
During drilling operations to date, noise has not been identified as impacting residents. Each drill site has also been located to ensure compliance with the conditions of the licence and land access agreements and to minimise disruption to residents. Drilling does not generate any odour, and any dust potentially generated will be minimal with a water truck utilised to suppress dust issues if identified.
Hours of operation will not vary and have been limited to 7am to dusk weekdays. There is no plan to work on weekends or Public Holidays.
All completed and proposed drill sites have an approved Review of Environmental Factors (REF) in place. As part of the REF, flora, fauna and archaeological inspections have been carried out at proposed drilling sites and where landholders have signed access agreements.
All drill site rehabilitation activities have been completed in accordance with DRE guidelines. Various drill sites were audited in 2017 with DRE noting that rehabilitation had been completed satisfactorily and in accordance with their expectations.