ABC NEWS reports the King of the Hills mine near Leonara in the northern Goldfields, with the construction of a new processing plant currently underway to transform mine into one of WA's biggest and longest-lasting gold mines.
The redevelopment of King of the Hills by mine owner Red 5, is costing $226m but once in production the mine is expected to achieve payback in just 25 months.
Over its projected 16-year life, the mine is forecast to produce 2.4 million ounces of gold and generate $1.54 billion in post-tax cashflow. Supported by
King of the Hills will be mined from the surface as an open pit and from underground, where 34 kilometres of tunnels will be developed for new mining fronts and exploration.
Deep drilling has defined new gold reserves over areas equivalent to "three or four football fields". According to Red 5 managing director Mark Williams, "The underground has only explored a fraction of the area and if the remaining potential delivers then yes, our children could be mining this project well into the future".
Construction of the new mill and 380-person camp began in October last year, and Mr Williams said the project was tracking on budget despite the pandemic and labour shortages pushing up the costs.
"It has certainly added layers of complexity and challenges, but we've got a great team," he said.
The King of the Hills mine is set to create 600 jobs and remains on track to pour its first gold bar in the middle of next year.
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Image of Geology superintendent James Lawrence and chief geologist Byron Dumpleton sourced from the ABC News website (ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)