News

Mine cements new jobs

By McIvor Times

FOSTERVILLE Gold Mine, just east of Bendigo, is set to expand thanks to support from the state government – creating 60 jobs during construction of a new cement plant and 30 new, ongoing, full-time jobs.

Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes was at Fosterville recently and confirmed regulatory and planning approval for an on-site cement plant that will enable production to increase.

Fosterville Gold Mine, which already employs 600 staff, is an internationally renowned success story, with some of the highest gold grades reported globally in recent years.

Estimated gold reserves were recently upgraded by 60 per cent to 2.7 million ounces. Production in 2019 may top 600,000 ounces, up from 350,000 ounces last year, likely placing Fosterville in the top five of the nation’s biggest gold producers.

The new cement infrastructure plant will also enable by-product rock to be re-inserted underground, reducing tailings and extending the life of the mine.

Mining licences at Fosterville and Stawell Gold Mine, which is now returning to full production, were last year extended to 2035, providing more certainty to the mine owners, investors, staff and local communities.

Later this year, more ground will be released for mineral exploration in the Lockington area, a region with a rich history of gold production.

This follows the successful 2018 Stavely Ground Release in western Victoria, with six companies progressing towards exploration rights.

Exploration is the precursor to minerals development and can be a valuable additional income in local areas. The six successful Stavely tenderers have an initial estimated exploration spend of over $20 million.

“Victoria’s wealth was built on gold mining and the industry remains integral to creating regional jobs,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘We’re supporting success stories like Fosterville to keep producing and employing locals.’’