A mining company based at Fosterville is said to be sitting on almost $3 billion in gold reserves.
More than 1.1 million ounces of gold – valued at $1.7 billion – was discovered by Kirkland Lake Gold last year, but the company has since re-estimated – claiming to have access to 1.7 million ounces of gold, worth $2.85 billion.
Minister for resources Tim Pallas said the reported gold reserves were conservatively measured, and based on the purity of the ore currently being mined.
“The company has a high degree of confidence that (1.7 million ounces) is what they've got,” he said.
According to Mr Pallas, the company believes it has four years of assured deposits.
The mine employs around 445 people – eight out of 10 of which are local, Mr Pallas said.
“It’s a golden opportunity for Bendigo – it's growing wealth for the community and providing jobs,” he said, suggesting the region, despite intense mining until the early twenty-first century, was one of the purest gold reserves in the world.
Another mining company GBM Gold Ltd, believes about 5,100 ounces of gold remain in the material stored at a sand dam at the Kangaroo Flat mine site.
It remains unclear when the company will begin mining on the site.
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.