Gold holds up as critical to Western Australian economy
The importance of gold to Western Australia’s economy has been highlighted by Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L’Estrange on a visit to the State’s most significant recent greenfields gold discovery, Gold Road Resources’ Gruyere project north-east of Laverton.
“The gold sector provides more than 20,000 jobs in Western Australia and was valued at a record $9.5 billion in 2015,” Mr L’Estrange said.
“It is incredible to think that more than 130 years after gold was first discovered in the State, significant deposits such as Gruyere are still being found in the region. It also highlights the vast mineral potential that exists, even after more than a century of mining.”
The Minister said the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme supported the Gruyere discovery. The scheme’s co-funded drilling program supports innovative drilling projects that drive the discovery of new mineral deposits.
Every $1 million invested in the scheme stimulates exploration activity generating $10.3 million in direct benefits for WA with a long-term benefit of $23.7 million.
“The scheme has been instrumental to increasing the geological knowledge of our State and the scheme’s co-funded drilling program has supported 20 major discoveries, including the Gruyere deposit,” Mr L’Estrange said.
“The mines of tomorrow are built on such discoveries, as are the jobs, royalties and other economic benefits vital for Western Australia’s continued prosperity.”
The Minister said Gold Road Resources’ Gruyere project was the perfect example of the importance of creating an environment that encouraged investment in exploration and development in the State’s resources industry.
“As Mines and Petroleum Minister, I am determined to continue to create opportunities in Western Australia’s resources sector,” he said.
“It is a sector that is critical to WA’s economic prosperity and the continued prosperity of local communities.”
The State Government has invested $130 million in the Exploration Incentive Scheme generating a direct benefit to the State of more than $1.3 billion
The Gruyere project will produce an estimated 265,000 ounces of gold annually and has an initial mine life of 12 years
WA has $117 million in gold projects under construction and a further $3.3 billion identified as planned or possible