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Southern Star Exploration, an Australian subsidiary of S2 Resources, has been granted a mineral exploration license from the Victorian Government through Victoria’s Earth Resources Regulator.

The exploration license (EL7795) covers an area of 394 square kilometres in northern Victoria.

The Victorian Earth Resources Regulator said the licence will allow Southern Star Exploration to search for gold.

Southern Star Exploration said due to its position, size, and prospectivity, EL7795 is a highly strategic asset. It also surrounds the Fosterville gold mine owned by Agnico Eagle.

“The granting of EL7795 is a significant moment for S2. It is the most strategic of the four blocks released around Fosterville, and it is the first to be granted,” S2 Resources executive chairman Mark Bennett said.

“I would like to thank the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people, and the staff of the Victorian Earth Resources Regulator for their goodwill, guidance and diligence in this process.”

It is expected to Southern Star Exploration to start drilling in about three weeks. The purpose of diamond drilling is to locate the down plunge extension of selected stratigraphic and structural targets previously identified in drilling undertaken by Kirkland Lake, the Fosterville mine’s former owner, prior to the statutory relinquishment of the ground.

“The company has already consulted with the Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners with respect to these sites, to ensure that Aboriginal Heritage values are not adversely impacted by the company’s activities, and they have been approved for drilling. Approvals for this roadside drilling have also been received from the City of Greater Bendigo Council,” Southern Star Exploration said.

The S2 Resources subsidiary was announced as the winner of the tender for the sole right to apply for an exploration licence over the ground surrounding Agnico Eagle’s Fosterville mine in October 2021.