Fosterville goldmine, east of Bendigo, has reported it could be opening a second mine following successful exploratory surface drilling.
The mine this year reported it had produced two million ounces of gold from the operations.
The mine is owned by Kirkland Lake Gold. Its Australian operations manager Ian Holland said the operation was transformed by the discovery of a high grade ore deep underground.
Kirkland Lake Gold has high hopes for a new mine.
President and chief executive officer Tony Makuch said for a long time, they had been saying there could be more Fostervilles at Fosterville.
“With today’s results, Robbins Hill has clearly emerged as a second potential mining front to provide feed to our Fosterville Mill,” Mr Makuch said.
“Based on current drilling, we have already identified a large mineralised system at Robbins Hill that we expect will support substantially higher levels of mineral resources and that remains open at depth and a long strike.”
The drilling has been targeting areas 650 m from the surface.
In addition to drilling and other exploration techniques, the company is currently performing a 3D seismic survey covering about 6 sq km in the north part of the Fosterville mining licence.
"The geophysical survey is the first of its kind to be undertaken in Victoria for gold exploration and will provide a high-resolution 3D dataset to a depth of over one kilometre,” Mr Makuch said.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Victorian mining employment rose 41 per cent last financial year, supporting an average of 16 000 jobs across the state.
The data also shows that expenditure in minerals exploration — the precursor to mining development and investment — has grown more than fourfold since the beginning of 2015.
The health of the sector has been buoyed by a rising gold price, which broke the $2000/ounce mark for the first time this year — about 15 per cent higher than this time last year — sparking more investment in exploration.
The Andrews Government released the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release tender last month, opening the potential for more gold exploration to the east and north of Bendigo.
The tender will require successful companies to demonstrate that they will engage with traditional owners and local communities, boosting jobs for regional Victorians.