PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Victoria’s mineral sector is expected to boom, with Resources Minister Tim Pallas this week announcing mining license extensions at two gold projects, and promising the release of further land for minerals exploration.
Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, Pallas announced 15-year mining licnese extensions at the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines.
Fosterville, which is owned by Canadian miner Kirkland Lake, is on track to produce 300,000 ounces of gold in 2018 – double its production in 2016, while the Stawell gold mine returned to full production in 2019.
Kirkland Lake in December last year sold the Stawell gold mines to private firm Arete Capital Partners, with Kirkland retaining a 2.5% net smelter return royalty on the mine.
“Not only to we have the know-how, our regions are minerals-rich. Extending the existing mining licences at Fosterville and Stawell means we can continue to support local jobs and the future of our mining industry,” Pallas said this week.
Meanwhile, the Minister also flagged the release of further land for minerals exploration in 2019 in the Lockington area, a region which has a rich history of gold production.
The tender would be similar to the Stavely project, which has just selected six companies to progress towards attaining exploration licences in western Victoria.
“This reflects the strength of Victoria’s growing mining industry, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing minerals exploration expenditure in Victoria is growing at a higher rate than other states, increasing 33% from March to June 2018.” Pallas said.
Victoria is also Australia’s largest exporter of mining equipment, technology and services, a sector estimated to be worth A$13.6-billion annually and accounting for over 120 000 jobs.