Local workforce priority for gold project, says firm boss

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Email Geoff Vivian
Exploration drilling at Middle Island Resources Sanstone project.
Camera IconExploration drilling at Middle Island Resources Sanstone project. Credit: Middle Island Resources

It is shaping up to be a good year to own a pub in Sandstone.

Middle Island Resources shareholders were quick to subscribe to a new issue of shares providing $1.3million to develop the Sandstone project and processing facility 12km south of the town.

Middle Island Resources general manager Rick Yeates said the company expected to employ up to 100 workers during the recommissioning phase and about 160 in two shifts when in full production.

“Our preference would not be for FIFO, we prefer residential whether that is in Sandstone or drive in — drive out from Mt Magnet or Leinster.

“We will do whatever we can do to bolster the fortunes of Sandstone township but inevitably there will be an element of FIFO.

“Fortunately the infrastructure is there now with the Shire airstrip which has been used for that purpose in the past.”

Mr Yeates said the newly-raised capital would allow the company to continue recommissioning the Sandstone operation.

He said they were pursuing two routes.

The first of these was building the mine’s inventory through exploration and now identifying high-grade open pit material with existing mining permits so mining could commence without waiting for permission.

The second was re-commissioning the old milling facilities and also making them available to other third-party miners in the district who did not have access to their own.

Mr Yeates said they would decide which of these options to pursue first, and use the profits from one to fund the other.

“It’s just about getting the project commissioned and were are working on these avenues to achieve that as quickly as we can,” he said.

Mr Yeates said he very much appreciated the “loyal shareholders” who were quick to stump up the necessary funds for the venture.

“Applications were very strong and we ended up with 30 per cent more than we were looking for,” he said.

“We didn’t sell more than we had intended — some who weren’t applying for a huge amount got everything they wanted.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails