Costerfield mine life extended

VIDEO: It's a different world below your feet

MANDALAY Resources Augusta Mine, in Costerfield, this week confirmed that it would remain open for at least another four years.

Jubilant staff members celebrated the successful mining of the first ore from the mine's newly discovered Cuffley ore body on Tuesday.

The company announced that the ore is of a high quality and has great commercial potential; terrific news for the mine's 206 full-time employees.

Celebrations included employees, Chinese customers and government representatives,who gathered to see City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons unveil a commemorative plaque and a truck carrying the Cuffley ore pass through a red ribbon. 

Mandalay Resources sustainability manager Andrew Mattiske said the mine pumped about $40 million into the Heathcote economy, through payments to the local council, employment and community sponsorship.

"We're the largest employer in Heathcote," Mr Mattiske said.

"Our workforce is from the Heathcote and Bendigo region.

"Discovery of this Cuffley ore has extended the life of the mine significantly."

The mining company had been embarking on exploration drilling for two years, to test whether whether mining the ore would be commercially viable.

This week they confirmed that it would be.

Mr Mattiske said the ore contained gold and antimony, a material that is used as a fire retarder in plastics.

He said most of the antimony would be shipped to China, to be used in products such as airplane seats and in the dashboards of cars, to make them resistant to fire.

He said the company was thrilled by the exploration's success.

"The success of our exploration gives us confidence to continue exploring the Costerfield area," he said.

Mandalay Resources tech services supervisor Adam Place said the newly-discovered ore body was of a high grade and to extract it would require traditional mining methods.

On Tuesday, Bendigo Advertiser video journalist Leigh Sharp went down the mine to have a first-hand look at what it's like to work 200 metres below the ground.

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