Resolute Mining has received an extension to the prescribed project status for its proposed expansion of the Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland.
The Queensland Government has extended Ravenswood’s project status to November 2020.
Resolute’s planned expansion of the Ravenswood mine, which is about 95 kilometres southwest of Townsville, was first announced in July 2018.
The expansion will extend Ravenswood’s mine life by three years to 2032.
Ravenswood has been forecast to deliver 1.5 million ounces of gold from 2019–2032 at an average all-in sustaining cost of $1097 per ounce if the expansion goes ahead.
The expansion project is initially focusing on the completion of open pit mining at Nolans East and the wind down of mining at the Mt Wright underground gold mine by the end of the 2019 financial year.
This will then be followed by a focus on operations at the newer open pit mine Buck Reef West by July 2019.
Resolute will then boost the capacity of its Nolans processing plant by 400,000 tonnes a year to 3.2 million tonnes a year by 2020, thus completing stage one operations.
For stage two, Resolute will expand the Nolans processing plant to a 5 million tonnes a year capacity by the 2024 financial year, and then start mining at the Sarsfield open pit mine by the 2025 financial year.
The prescribed project status allows the Queensland coordinator-general Barry Broe to assist with coordinating government and regulatory approvals to help ensure the expansion doesn’t suffer delays.
“The Queensland Government shares our view that the economic and social benefits of continuing gold mining in Ravenswood are significant for the region and for Queensland,” Resolute managing director and chief executive officer John Welborn said.
“The prolonged life of Mt Wright, and the collaborative and proactive approach to receiving regulatory approvals for our expansion plans, is allowing further enhancement opportunities to be identified and progressed.”
Prescribed project status is conferred by the state to aid the approvals process for projects that are deemed to have a certain economic or social significance for Queensland.