Victoria’s resources boom is producing a massive rise in local jobs, with the Andrews Labor Government’s support of the minerals exploration sector leading to huge investment by companies in Victoria.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Victorian mining employment rose 41 per cent last financial year, supporting an average of 16,000 jobs across the state.
The data also shows that expenditure in minerals exploration – the precursor to mining development and investment – has grown more than fourfold since the beginning of 2015.
The updated Earth Resources Sector Indicators Report proves Victoria’s second gold rush, with production increasing by 16.7 per cent in the 2017-18 financial year alongside a 136 per cent rise in new licences for exploration.
The health of the sector has been buoyed by a rising gold price, which broke the $2,000 per ounce mark for the first time this year – around 15 per cent higher than this time last year – sparking more investment in exploration.
The future of gold in Victoria is bright with estimates that only half the gold that may exist in the state has been found over the past 170 years, and strong results from Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville Mine sparking international interest in the minerals sector.
The Labor Government released the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release tender last month, opening the potential for more gold exploration to the east and north of Bendigo.
The tender will require successful companies to demonstrate that they will engage with traditional owners and local communities, boosting jobs for regional Victorians.
An exemption on a royalty for gold production will end on 1 January, bringing the state’s gold producers in line with other Victorian resources operators and every other state in Australia.
The royalty will only apply to Victoria’s largest gold mines, which have continued to prosper in 2019. Fosterville recorded Australia’s third biggest gold output for the quarter to September, while Stawell Gold Mine returned to production earlier this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes
“We’re seeing Victoria’s next gold rush – the increase in spending on Victorian exploration and huge growth in jobs means confidence in Victoria’s minerals sector is high.”
“Minerals companies spending more money in regional Victoria benefits the whole community – from businesses in the resources supply chain to local shops and cafes.”