The managing director from Bowdens Silver Mine has outlined the Lue project plans to business leaders in Mudgee, addressing questions about fly-in-fly-out workers.
Silver Mines Limited purchased Bowdens Silver Project from Kingsgate Consolidation Limited at the end of June 2016.
The project is classified as one of the largest underdeveloped silver deposits in Australia, stretching over 408,000 acres in exploration tenements from the north of Gulgong to Kandos.
Members of the Mudgee Business Chamber of Commerce received an overview of the current project and the greater impact within the local community – including employment, environmental, and community involvement at the Friday morning breakfast.
A feasibility study and the environmental impact statement (EIS) are now underway, with the scheduled completion date expected by the second half of 2017.
The EIS will look at the impact on the Lue community including dust, noise, traffic and water and land protection.
Managing director, Tony McClure said subject to the outcome, they plan to undertake a smaller, lower impact and more economically robust development of the site compared to the previous owners.
Mr McClure addressed concerns and questions regarding employment options for the local community saying “no temporary workers accommodation is planned.”
“Workers and families are to reside in surrounding villages and towns.”
The question of skilled and unskilled local employees was also raised, due to the current youth unemployment within the region.
“All positions are advertised locally,” he said.
“All workers need to be skilled, but we will look at taking on a select number of youth for an apprentice and trainee program in consultation with education providers.
“Under development, over 150 jobs will be created from construction, mining, technical services, processing and plant operations and administration.”
Mr McClure continued they will be using local businesses wherever possible.
“Over 40 local contractors and suppliers are currently being used,” he said.
The mine is expected to be operational for at least 20 years, with the development capital investment circa $150 million.