Australia’s Queensland Government has announced the start of production from the $234.7m (A$350m) Ravenswood expansion project, making it one of the largest of its kind in the state.

Located 130km south-west of Townsville, the Ravenswood expansion mine has created nearly 400 jobs and a further 220 permanent contractors.

The three-year expansion project involved the construction of a new tailings storage facility and crusher, as well as a processing plant expansion, leaching tanks and a new mill.

Commissioned in 1987, the Ravenswood mine was acquired by Ravenswood Gold from gold miner Resolute Mining in 2020.

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart said: “Not only is this now the largest gold mine in Queensland, but the Ravenswood Gold project also deserves a gold medal for how it supports locals and local businesses.

“It is providing good jobs, flow-on benefits for local businesses and is ensuring a sustainable future for the town of Ravenswood well beyond the life of the mine.

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“The resources industry directly supports about 75,000 jobs across the state, particularly in the regions, which account for about two-thirds of all mining jobs.”

With the expansion project, the mine’s production capacity has been increased to more than 200,000oz of gold a year.

Ravenswood Gold CEO Brett Fletcher said: “Ravenswood Gold is a great example of local people working together with private business and government to bring real benefits for the state of Queensland.”