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Ravenswood Gold operations will continue to ramp up in the next 12 months, bringing a further workforce boost of 100 positions by the end of the year, the company says.

Operations manager Dave Mackay said key works included a new tailings storage facility, finalising the operation’s processing plant upgrade and updating the site’s accommodation village.

“The plant will increase the processing rate from 3 million tonnes to 7.2 million tonnes per annum and we will also commission the first section of the new tailings storage facility within the next six months,” he said.

Ausenco is managing the processing plant upgrade, with a raft of North Queensland sub-contractors including Wulguru Steel, Thomas Steel and Towers Concrete.

Ravenswood Gold has almost completed a noise bund, which will allow night shift to operate in the Buck Reef West pit in the coming months.

Mr Mackay said a new lookout was planned from the bund to allow visitors a birds-eye view of operations in the pit.

EMR/GEAR joint venture committed to the Ravenswood Development Plan (RDP) when they took over the Ravenswood gold operations from Resolute Mining last year.

When the RDP is complete, the Ravenswood Gold mine is expected to be the largest gold mine in Queensland, producing more than 200,000 ounces per year.

At current prices, that would generate more than $25 million per annum in royalties for the State Government.

The Buck Reef West pit is the first stage of mining in the RDP (formerly referred to as the Ravenswood Expansion Project).

Ravenswood Gold began extracting ore from that site within its Ravenswood operation in December.

At that stage the Ravenswood gold operation had not been actively mining since the cessation of mining activities at the nearby Mount Wright underground in October 2019.

It had been processing low-grade stockpiles while preparing to return to open-pit operations.

The project also includes a return to mining in the Sarsfield-Nolans pit – which was last mined in 2009 and will have to be dredged prior to mining operations.