More than $1 billion in gold has been discovered near Bendigo in a find leaders are saying could see a 21st century gold rush to central Victoria.
Mining company Kirkland Lake Gold made the million-ounce gold find at the Fosterville mine, 20 kilometres east of Bendigo.
The quantity of gold is valued at approximately $1.1 billion.
The Fosterville Gold Mine already supports 500 highly-skilled jobs but resources minister Wade Noonan, who toured the site this week, said the eureka moment would see production at the mine expand.
“Bendigo is on the verge of another gold rush… that’s great news for workers, their families and the Bendigo economy,” the MP said.
Kirkland Lake Gold were assisted in their search by the state government’s Target grants program, which gives mineral exploration companies the capacity to conduct more geological surveys, drilling and sample analyses.
The company was gifted $140,000 for its work at the Bendigo site.
The grant program’s second round has already provided more than $1.2 million to five projects in the Bendigo Geological Province, a 14,000 square kilometre area stretching north of Bendigo to Echuca and Swan Hill.
Bendigo East and West MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards both said the find shored up the future of the mining site.
“Hundreds of local workers are employed at Fosterville, and these new gold discoveries will ensure their jobs are sustainable,” Ms Edwards said.
Bendigo boomed in the mid-19th century when alluvial gold was first found on the banks of its creek.
The Bendigo goldfields were the country’s highest producing after Kalgoorlie, and the seventh richest fields in the world.