Mining operations at Fosterville and Stawell Gold Mines in Victoria have been extended, following the approval of 15-year Mining Licence extensions.

The Fosterville Gold Mine is on track to produce 300,000 ounces of gold in 2018 — double its production in 2016 — and was recently named Mine of the Year at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards, while the Stawell Gold Mine returned to full production in 2019.

Minister for Resources, Tim Pallas, said, “Not only do we have the know-how, our regions are minerals-rich.

“Extending the existing mining licences at Fosterville and Stawell means we can continue to support local jobs and the future of our mining industry.”

Mr Pallas also flagged the release of further land for minerals exploration in 2019 in the Lockington area, a region that has a rich history of gold production. Lockington is near Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville Gold Mine.

The tender would be similar to the Stavely project, which has just selected six companies to progress towards attaining exploration licences in western Victoria.

This reflects the strength of Victoria’s growing mining industry, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing minerals exploration expenditure in Victoria is growing at a higher rate than other states, increasing 33 per cent from March to June 2018.

Victoria is also Australia’s largest exporter of mining equipment, technology and services (METS), a sector estimated to be worth $13.6 billion annually and accounting for over 120,000 jobs.

Melbourne is also home to the headquarters of BHP, MMG, Oceanagold, Newcrest Mining, Alumina, St Barbara and Orica, as well as Rio Tinto’s Asia Pacific regional headquarters.

“The future of our mining industry looks golden — Victoria is the largest exporter of mining equipment and technology, and the headquarters for some of the biggest companies in the world,” Mr Pallas said.

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