With Regis Resources gearing up for the McPhillamys gold mine project, the possibility of 150 new jobs is an exciting one for the workers of Orange.
If Regis is able to kick-start the project as planned by 2016, it may also mean 500 flow-on jobs will be created.
The Perth-based company is currently dealing with the issue of securing enough water for production at the new mine, which is 35 kilometres south-east of Orange.
McPhillamys project development manager Rod Smith spoke to a packed auditorium last week at the jobs expo in Orange, saying the construction phase could start by 2015 if the $150 million project is approved.
“We’ve taken on a lot of new employees at Western Australia and at McPhillamys we intend to do the same,” Smith said.
“At the moment there are 10 years’ worth of reserves, but there’s been no regional exploration so there’s a lot of potential.”
The construction phase would employ about 200 people, but Mr Smith said most would be tradespeople, but there would be 60 to 70 per cent of positions which could be filled by people with no mining experience in the production phase.
“There are limited opportunities for training personnel during construction … that’s the not-so-good news,” he said.
“But during operations there will be approximately 150 people and it generates three or four times that in the district.”
Mr Smith said during the operational phase up to 500 flow-on jobs would be created in the district and the mine would not require any fly-in-fly-out workers.
“It’s paradise having residential operations rather than FIFO. Having people reside in the area, it’s an enormous advantage,” he said.
The one potential “show-stopper” for the mine was water supply, Mr Smith said, with the company negotiating to use recycled effluent from Bathurst or recycled water from a Lithgow mine.
Mr Smith said Regis was collecting data for the project, with the hope of completing the environmental impact statement by the end of this year before it is submitted to the planning department for approval.
Regis has 550 staff across its mines in Western Australia and Queensland.
About 250 are employed by the mine and 300 are contractors.
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