Queensland government to fund revival of abandoned Mount Morgan gold mine – ABC News

Queensland government to fund revival of abandoned Mount Morgan gold mine
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Once one of the richest gold mines in the world, an abandoned Queensland operation could soon be revived with the state government committing funding to "reinvigorate" the site.  
The Queensland government has announced funding to support Heritage Minerals' plans to revive the Mount Morgan gold mine
Heritage minerals bought the leases to the site in 2021
After several failed attempts to bring the mine back to life, locals hope this time is the "real deal"
In its heyday, the Mount Morgan gold mine in central Queensland was one of the largest in the world but since 1990 it has been unused and contaminated with acid water.
Last year, Heritage Minerals bought the leases to the site with plans to re-work thousands of tonnes of tailings to extract an estimated 7.5 tonnes of gold and 5,600 tonnes of copper.
Heritage Minerals chief executive Malcolm Paterson said the project would create more than 100 full-time jobs with the potential to support those jobs for the next century.
Treasurer Cameron Dick today announced state government funding for the project, which will allow preliminary work to get underway, but the exact figure is commercial-in-confidence.
"We are backing Mount Morgan to get back in the gold business and to help accelerate the rehabilitation of the old mine at the same time," Mr Dick said.
"The company [Heritage Minerals] has the environmental approvals, it's still looking for some additional financial support, but this is an exciting day for central Queensland.
"This has been such an important town in the history of our state, and we want to see new economic life coming out of that mine to create jobs, to generate royalties and to put wealth back into the community of central Queensland."
Several companies have tried and failed to restart the historic site since it shut in 1990.
Mr Dick said the state government funding was still subject to federal government and private sector financial support but he was confident this project would succeed.
Mr Paterson said the project was a "win-win" as Heritage Minerals would be able to environmentally rehabilitate the mine while extracting gold.
He said the money made from mining would help cover the costs of stopping the contaminated acid water from leeching out of the old site.
Mr Paterson said he expected to finalise funding and finance approvals with the federal government "within weeks" and could then commission further preliminary works.
"We're ready to go, we're ready to start construction and we're looking at the first quarter of next year to start construction on site," he said.
"We're looking at about 15 months for construction so it's probably going to be the second quarter of 2024 to start actually producing gold."
Mount Morgan local John Steinberger said after the previous failed attempts to reopen the old mine many residents felt "disillusioned".
But he said this one felt like the "real deal".
"It's positive — more than positive," he said. 
"It actually gives us some sort of hope in the future or the Queensland government wouldn't be offering this money."
Mr Steinberger said potential jobs in construction and mine operations of the mine brought hope to "a lot of people" in the community.
"It revitalises the town," he said.
Rockhampton Regional Mayor Tony Williams said the Queensland government's commitment to the project was fantastic.
"It's really going to be a transformational project for the Mount Morgan community that have had some setbacks over recent years with the mine closure and their water restrictions … but there is change in the wings," Mr Williams said.
"This builds on the back of our recent consultation with the community about our water pipeline project and also transforming the swimming pool into a new facility as well.
"So in two years' time that whole community is going to see a big change, having employment and permanent water supply, there will be a real buzz around the town… so looking forward to that."
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