NSW gold mine plans to employ 1000 locals

The Hillgrove gold mine will look to employ more than 1000 people from the Armidale area, with plans to restart operations at the site in March.

Bracken Resources paid $30 million to purchase the mine last year, with the site being non-operational since 2009.

Hillgrove Mines chief executive Roger Jackson said with start-up plans ramping up, initially the mine would require 80 people, but these figures are expected to triple by the end of 2014, Armidale Express reported.

Jackson said the mine’s workforce would be based in Armidale and surrounding areas.

“The majority are local and the ones that aren’t will be moving here,” Jackson said.

“There will be no fly-in, fly-out workers except for the odd expert.”

Bracken said it is confident there are 3 million ounces of gold and 300,000 tonnes of antimony at the site, and have spent around $50 million to improve the mine and buy equipment.

“And a lot of that has gone to local contractors,” Jackson said.

“Just in the building phase there has been a lot.

“We say for every 100 people we employ there are actually 400 jobs created.”

While phase two of operations will see a further $30 million spent.

Attempts to reopen the mine were hamstring in the past because of fear of run-off entering the Macleay River catchment.

In July 2010 the former owner of the mine, Straits Resources, was fined $50,000 by NSW Land & Environment Court after being found guilty of polluting waters systems.

However Jackson said Bracken had taken the necessary steps to improve the mine’s environmental procedures, including the full treatment of water using during production.

“The mine has spent considerable money and made a concerted effort in solving any environmental potential issues we may have encountered,” he said.

 “We have introduced some fantastic initiatives relating to the environment in our operations and we are confident the community will appreciate our efforts.”

This includes the introduction of a $ 2 million microfiltration and reverse osmosis plant to treat water used by the mine.

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