Premier Richard Court today officially opened one of the State's newest gold mines - Acacia Resources' Sunrise Dam Gold Mine near Laverton.
Mr Court said the new mine had provided a major boost for the gold industry in Western Australia.
"The Sunrise Dam mine is ranked among the top 25 gold projects in the State and is made up of several gold ore bodies which contain more than 1.3 million ounces of gold which is currently worth $570 million," the Premier said.
"The size of the project means that it is expected to continue production for at least six years - providing many benefits and a boost for the local community as well as the WA economy."
Mr Court said much of the early success of the project could be attributed to the approach adopted by the mine owners, Acacia Resources.
He congratulated the mining company for its commitment to the local community and decision to appoint local people when their skills and experience matched job requirements.
"Acacia has set a very high standard in recognising the importance of working with the indigenous community to ensure its culture is respected and understood by all workers," the Premier said.
"Acacia helped negotiate to include local Aboriginal group Carey Mining in a $50 million joint venture over the next three years.
"The company also helped establish Mulyerrie Training Services to provide cross-cultural training to staff and implemented a general training strategy to provide entry level skills to more people in the local community."
Mr Court said he was particularly pleased that the training strategy involved other mining companies and potential employers in the Laverton district who had joined together to form the Laverton Leonora Regional Development Association.
"The association is supported by the State Government and consists of four mining companies and five Aboriginal corporations," he said.
"Since opening in February the association has recorded many achievements such as registering job seekers, advertising job vacancies, starting an Aboriginal mine training program and offering a range of courses.
"As a result, the association is a potential model for other areas interested in industry, Government and Aboriginal co-operation."
Mr Court said WA and the people of the State had benefited from the gold industry for more than 100 years and the Sunrise Dam Gold Mine would play a key role in the industry's continued success.
Media contact: Casey Cahill 9222 9475