Aus­tralia’s Gold Out­put Nears 300 Tonnes A Year

Solitaire - - SPECTRUM -

An­nual gold pro­duc­tion in Aus­tralia con­tin­ued its slow up­ward trend in 2016-17, ac­cord­ing to Mel­bourne-based gold min­ing con­sul­tant, Sur­biton As­so­ciates. To­tal gold pro­duc­tion for the year 2016-17 was 299 tonnes, up al­most 2.5% on the pre­vi­ous year. For the June quar­ter 2017, out­put was 75 tonnes, up some 5% from the rainaf­fected March quar­ter 2017.

“With al­most 300 tonnes pro­duced in 2016-17, the gold mined was worth around A$16 bil­lion at the av­er­age spot price for the year,” said San­dra Close, a di­rec­tor of Sur­biton As­so­ciates. “Aus­tralia is the world’s sec­ond largest gold pro­duc­ing coun­try and gold is our third largest com­mod­ity ex­port af­ter iron ore and coal.”

How­ever, she warned there was a real con­cern in the gold sec­tor that higher roy­al­ties may be im­posed which would have neg­a­tive eco­nomic con­se­quences, would un­der­mine con­fi­dence and would dis­cour­age in­vest­ment.

“The West­ern Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment is once again flag­ging a pos­si­ble in­crease in min­eral roy­al­ties in its forth­com­ing state bud­get,” Close said. “About 70% of Aus­tralia’s gold is mined in West­ern Aus­tralia (WA), so the state gov­ern­ment must think very care­fully be­fore im­pos­ing any in­crease in the gold roy­alty.”

Ear­lier this year, the WA Premier Mark McGowan claimed WA’s Bud­get po­si­tion was the worst since the Great De­pres­sion due to lower tax rev­enues and a sub­dued state econ­omy.

Close added, “In­creas­ing fi­nan­cial bur­dens on the gen­er­a­tors of wealth can have un­in­tended con­se­quences – in min­ing it can mean higher cost op­er­a­tions close, with the re­sul­tant loss of jobs and tax rev­enues.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.