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Thursday, 14 September 2017

BENDIGO MINE TOURS BACK OPEN FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

Just in time for the school holidays, the Central Deborah Gold Mine is once again open to the public, with its premium Nine Levels of Darkness tour back open following the completion of a $380,000 infrastructure upgrade.

The upgrade was funded by the Andrews Labor Government as part of the Bendigo Groundwater Project to manage groundwater from mine voids in Bendigo.

Visitors can once again drop 228 metres underground in the original miners’ cage to level 9 of the mine and be guided through the authentic mine tunnels to see firsthand why Bendigo’s geology makes it one of the top 10 goldfields in the world. 

During the 3.5-hour tour visitors can climb the ladder way, work a mine drill, learn how to set a charge and enjoy a traditional crib meal underground.  

The Level 9 tours have been on hold while the existing pumps, originally installed in 2011, were refurbished and new stainless steel pipes were installed to pump groundwater from the Deborah line of reef and underground workings to alternate lines of reef where it can be safely stored or extracted and treated. 

Groundwater is naturally-occurring within Bendigo’s network of disused and abandoned mines, and has been recovering to natural levels since mining ceased in 2011. Without intervention, groundwater would flood the tourist mine and flow in an uncontrolled manner into local waterways, creating environmental and amenity impacts.

Construction of the Andrews Labor Government funded $27 million solution to manage rising groundwater in Bendigo was recently completed and is currently in the commissioning phase.  The project included refurbishment of a treatment plant at New Moon, north of Eaglehawk, building two pipelines from New Moon to Coliban Water’s Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom and creating a new brine storage lagoon at the Plant.

This project prevents discharge of groundwater to the surface and any associated impacts in and around Bendigo.

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards 

“I am very excited that these tours are resuming and that visitors to Bendigo can enjoy this excellent experience and re-live some of our City’s gold mining history – particularly just in time for school holidays.”

“This is a win for the local community, with the mine a real draw card for visiting tourists.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan

“The Victorian Government is fulfilling its commitment to the people of Bendigo by getting on with the Bendigo groundwater project to protect the city and surrounding areas, including this premier tourist attraction, from rising groundwater from Bendigo’s historic mines.”

Quotes attributable to Peter Abbott, CEO of Bendigo Heritage Attractions

“We are very excited to again offer Nine Levels of Darkness to our visitors as it is a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else in Australia.”

“We believe these upgrades will ensure the stability of the system for many years to come so that we can keep offering a great underground experience to all our visitors while at the same time keeping groundwater from discharging into local waterways.”

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