Gold mine open to the community

February 22, 2024 BY

THIS weekend, Fosterville Goldmine will open the gates to the family members of employees and the wider community.

“It’s there for the community to come and get an insight and understand what it is that we do on the mine site,” said Will Wettenhall, environment and community manager at Fosterville.

Visitors can participate in a range of activities such as a surface tour of the mine’s facilities that includes the entrance to the underground mine, the processing plant, and other surface infrastructure.

“That gives people a bit of an insight inside the fence that they wouldn’t otherwise get, and it’s pretty rare to get that visibility and access at an operational mine sight these days,” Mr Wettenhall said.

The day aims to be family friendly with activities for kids, including panning for real gold mined at Fosterville.

“People can grab a cold pan and mine for their very own bit of Fosterville gold,” said Mr Wettenhall.

“That attracts not only the kids but plenty of adults get gold fever and jostle for a position and some people spend hours panning for gold.”

There will also be the opportunity for visitors to have their photo taken with a bar of gold.

“At the moment the value of gold bar, the size of the bars that we pour is over a million dollars, so people get a kick out of holding a million bucks in their hands,” he said.

A series of marquees and displays will also be set up to demonstrate different aspects of the business and enable visitors to learn about geology, mining processes, and equipment.

Fosterville is expecting up to 16,000 people to visit the mine this Saturday, and Mr Wettenhall said there’s usually a broad cross-section of the community that attends.

One of the key drivers for the event is to provide the community with first-hand knowledge of gold mining operations, which Mr Wettenhall said he hoped would help promote factually accurate information relating to modern mining.

“Importantly for us it’s getting a higher level of awareness and understanding of what a modern mining operation looks like, particularly a modern gold mine,” he said.

The open day will run from 9.30am to 4pm at Fosterville Goldmine this Saturday 24 February.

Tickets are free but need to be booked via Eventbrite.