Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development
Hon Damien O'Connor, Minister of Rural Communities
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today.
“This is great news for the Coast that could attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in to the region. The coast has a long colourful gold mining history and Blackwater gold reef was one of the most productive and richest in its time.
“The PGF has invested $15 million as a commercial loan so that Tasman Mining Limited can build 3.3km long twin decline tunnels at the former Blackwater Gold Mine site and complete a three year drilling programme to see if gold mining will be viable there again.
“Private funding is difficult to raise for gold mining and PGF funding will accelerate the project for the community, as well as lift the confidence of private investors to back the project,” Mr O’Connor said.
Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, said the project builds on a pre-existing mine operation with known gold resources and the skills and experiences of local people and businesses.
“Small scale drilling in recent years shows evidence that gold is present. A twenty-year permit to mine gold, as well as silver from the site, is in place and the mining entrance is situated on private land, which will be rehabilitated for forestation and grazing once mining ceases.
The PGF is all about regional economic growth and job creation. About forty jobs will be created while the drilling project is operating over the next three years, and it is predicted there will be around 100 jobs at the mine when it is at full production, from about 2024, Mr Tabuteau said.
Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.