More than 160 jobs and $50 million in supply opportunities are expected to be generated in North Queensland this year as Ravenswood Gold ramps up.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the expansion project at the gold mine was already benefiting NQ businesses like Thomas Steel, which has won a $10 million-plus contract as part of a processing plant upgrade.
He said it would bring on an additional 60 permanent positions and more than 100 construction jobs this year.
“The Ravenswood Gold project is a gold standard of the positive economic contribution a mine can bring to the regions,” Mr Stewart said.
“Just short of two years ago the Palaszczuk Government approved new mining leases and paved the way for the $300 million extension of the Ravenswood Gold mine.
“North Queensland businesses such as Thomas Steel are seeing the benefits of this supply chain success story as the mine continues to secure a plethora of services from across the north including steel fabrication, concreting, equipment hire and servicing, engineering, surveying, environmental support, tradespeople and even a local coffee roaster.
“And things are looking up, with more than $50 million expected to be spent in 2021 as open pit mining ramps up and expansion development continues.”
Thomas Steel general manager Domenic Corradini said his operation had secured a contract to fabricate a section of the Ravenswood Gold processing plant’s leaching facilities.
“This contract is the perfect test for our expanded new Bohle operation and it further cements our credentials as a leading structural steel fabricator in North Queensland,” Mr Corradini said.
“We’ve been able to further secure the employment of our 150-plus workforce and we’ve increased our Townsville workforce by 20 per cent to help us to meet demand.”
The EMR GEAR consortium purchased the Ravenswood operation, 90km south-west of Townsville, from Resolute Mining in April 2020.
The new Ravenswood Gold operation has committed to the Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP), which will see the return to open-pit mining at the site – starting with the Buck Reef West pit.
When the REP is complete, the Ravenswood mine is expected to be the largest gold mine in Queensland, producing more than 200,000 ounces per year.
Ravenswood Gold general manager of operations Dave Mackay said the company was always looking to support North Queensland businesses.
“We’ve spent almost $50 million in and around North Queensland and there’s plenty more to come,” Mr Mackay said.
“Our local workforce of over 250 people and collaboration with almost 370 businesses in the region helps to strengthen the project and improve resilience in these uncertain COVID-19 times.
“North Queensland has a lot to offer in terms of technical skills, goods and services to support the region’s resource industry and in turn, the benefits of the mine’s expansion will pay back into the region and the State.”