HILLGROVE Mine will employ more than 100 people by the end of the year and Armidale is already seeing gold in its pan.
The revived antimony and gold mine will open in March and ramp up operations as the year progresses.
Initially there will be 80 full time jobs but that is expected to reach triple figures before the end of the year.
And the best news is the bulk of those jobs will go to local people.
“The majority are local and the ones that aren’t will be moving here,” Hillgrove Mines chief executive Roger Jackson said.
“There will be no fly-in, fly-out workers except for the odd expert.”
Mr Jackson’s company Bracken Resources paid $30 million to buy the mine from Straits, which had not produced gold or antinomy from Hillgrove since 2009.
Bracken has since ploughed even more capital into improving the site and buying equipment. It is confident there are 3 million ounces of gold and 300,000 tonnes of antimony there to be mined.
At current prices that’s more than $4 billion in gold alone, but the money is already flowing locally.
“We’ve spent $50 million out there and a lot of that has gone to local contractors,” Mr 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.”
Phase two of operations will see a further $30 million spent.
As with any mining operation environmental concerns are high on the agenda, especially in relation to water, but Mr Jackson said his company has done everything possible to deal with those matters.
“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.”
These efforts include purchase of a microfiltration and reverse osmosis plant, costing more than $2 million, to treat water used by the mine.