Australian gold production recovered strongly in the June quarter according to Melbourne-based gold mining consultants, Surbiton Associates Pty. Ltd. Output totalled 85 tonnes, over 10% more than the 77 tonnes recorded in the March quarter.
Australian gold production for the 2019-2020 year totalled 328 tonnes, a record for any 12-month period. The output is worth almost A$25 billion at the average gold price for the financial year. Australia also imports considerable amounts of crude gold for refining, which is then exported, thereby increasing the value of total gold exports even further.
“I cannot recall so much interest in gold since the modern boom began almost 40 years ago,” said Dr. Sandra Close, a director of Surbiton Associates. “There is a high level of activity overall, from investment, increased capital raisings and initial public offerings, to greater exploration and drilling and a scramble to peg new ground.”
“The price increases over the last year or 18 months have been extraordinary, both in Australian and United States dollars,” Dr Close said. “Sadly, this is a reflection of the uncertainty and unrest around the world.”
Dr Close said that despite the distress and disruption the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause locally and around the world, it has not affected Australian gold production but has limited exploration a little, with travel restrictions for some staff.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Australia remains the world’s second largest gold producing country after China, followed by Russia. South Africa, which was once the world’s largest gold producer, is not even in the top ten now.