Mineral and Metals Group has commenced its $22 million expansion of its Golden Grove copper open pit operations.


The expansion is expected to extend the life of the mine by around two years, while also providing additional employment in the area.


“Golden Grove is a very important operation in the Mid-West, producing many mineral commodities and currently employing more than 550 people,” State Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said.


“This expansion is a significant milestone in the life of the mine which has been in continuous operation since 1990 and holds a very bright future in terms of new discoveries in the Mid-West.


The copper open pit will be located over the existing underground workings at Golden Grove’s Gossan Hill mine, with full-scale production commencing in January 2012.


Mr Moore said current figures showed copper exploration expenditure in WA had increased during 2010-11 by 66 per cent from the previous year, to $79million.