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Major design contracts have been awarded to three Queensland-based consulting teams as Ravenswood Gold gears up for a planned expansion by the end of the year.

Chief executive officer Brett Fletcher said revised figures indicated the expansion would create 150 contract jobs in construction and at least 200 full-time positions in mining within the next 12-18 months.

“The company is progressing towards a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the shape and timing of the REP (Ravenswood Expansion project) once all outstanding permits and approvals are finalised,” he said.

“The FID will allow us to commit to further permanent employment contracts and award of supply contracts, with the intent to be mining before the end of this year.”

EMR GEAR Consortium officially took over the Ravenswood gold operation, 90km east of Charters Towers, from Resolute Mining in April and has consistently voiced its commitment to the REP.

The REP will involve a return to open-pit mining at Ravenswood – beginning with the Buck Reef West deposit – and a processing plant upgrade.

Mr Fletcher said the new owners had awarded mine optimisation work to Australian Mine Design and Development (AMDA) and tailings dam design work to ATC Williams.

Ausenco has been contracted to carry out the processing plant upgrade design.

“For the full plant expansion and tailings dam early construction we are targeting $200 million capital spend,” he said.

All Carpentaria Gold staff employed by former owners Resolute have transitioned to Ravenswood Gold, which has appointed a general manager – Dave Mackay – on the mine site.

Mr Fletcher said the company had already created 14 new positions to address existing requirements and those linked to the expansion, including crusher operators, tradespeople, an environment/heritage officer and a document controller.

Four existing fixed term contract positions have been transferred to permanent positions with Ravenswood Gold.

Mr Fletcher said the Ravenswood Gold corporate team and office had been set up in the Brisbane CBD, including six new positions to manage corporate functions for the site.