New gold mine to start next month
GOLD mining is expected to start in early April at Laneway Resources' Agate Creek project, north west of Townsville.
Roads damaged by last month's floods meant a delay in bringing mining equipment to the site but the company said it should be mobilised to site over the next two weeks.
The State Government granted a mining lease for the project, about 40km south of Forsayth at the start of this month.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Laneway said it expected mining operations would start in April.
The ore will be transported by road and processed at Maroon Gold's Black Jack processing plant at Charters Towers.
"Maroon has recently completed the recommissioning of the Black Jack Plant Site (which has the capacity to process up to 340,000 tonnes per year)," the statement said.
"Utilising an existing processing plant significantly reduces the capital expenditure and time to first gold production for Laneway."
Maroon Gold said its processing plant, which Laneway will use, was not damaged during the floods.
"After a period of being shut down due to limited road access from Charters Towers, the plant has now been restarted and is fully operational," the Laneway statement said.
There is expected to be 20 local jobs at the mine during phase one of the project which would produce 100,000 tonnes of ore each year.
In the statement Laneway said pit designs for the initial mining campaign had been finalised to allow the start of mining and reflect the "simple shallow open cut nature of the ore body".
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the jobs at the mine were expected to increase to 80 during phase two of the project, when an onsite processing plant was added to increase the mining output from 100,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes per annum.
"As part of their mining lease application and Native Title agreement, mine owners Laneway Limited, have committed to employing local residents, and will offer training and business opportunities for traditional owners the Ewamian People," Dr Lynham said.