Stawell Gold Mines future possibilities discussed: Particle physics research, hydroponics, landfill planned

Stawell Gold Mines

Stawell Gold Mines

PARTICLE physics research, hydroponics and landfill are among the potential future uses for the Stawell Gold Mines site.

The Stawell Gold Mines Future Possibilities project is in its final stage after the business case was presented to Northern Grampians Shire Council and the project control group.

Between $2.4 million and $2.9 million of infrastructure investment is needed to prepare the site for the projects. 

Council officers are seeking to attract investors for the upgrades.

Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said all the projects could proceed simultaneously.

He said a decision to mine Stawell landmark Big Hill, which would be made at the end of the month, would not affect the future possibilities for the existing mine site.

“All those options can go forward even if the open cut at Big Hill does not or does go ahead,” he said.

Cr Erwin said progress was being made at the particle physics laboratory.

“They’ve got equipment down at depth testing the suitability of the decline for a lab in the future,” he said.

The business case also recommends a proposed hydroponics enterprise on the site.

Cr Wayne Rice said the land suited hydroponics because it would not use contaminated soil.

“It was about working out what could we do with that land in the way of farming – there’s some land on the northern side of the hill,” he said.

Cr Rice said it was inevitable some mine workers would struggle to find work in Stawell after the mine’s closure.

But he said some workers might find jobs with the new projects identified by the business case.  

“The particle physics lab won’t be happy with the existing underground network,” he said.

“It will need new work done. There will be future jobs there to dig new pathways.” 

Cr Erwin said using the Wonga Pit as a site for landfill would take years.

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