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China's Gold Demand Takes Australia By Storm, Breaching $11 Billion Annually

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China’s Gold Demand Takes Australia By Storm, Breaching $11 Billion Annually

(Kitco News) - Chinese gold demand is not letting up, as the country bought 230 metric tons of Australian gold last year, which exceeded $11 billion on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, according to recent data released by The Perth Mint.

It is the quality of Australian gold and its reliable supply that is so attractive for the Chinese market, said Chief Operating Officer of The Perth Mint, David Woodford.

“In 2014, The Perth Mint became the first foreign refinery accredited on the Shanghai Gold Exchange and we have worked steadily to establish this new market,” said Woodford. “Today we are on track to achieve our goal of becoming the biggest source of imported gold in the Chinese market and that is great news for Australian gold producers and Australian mine workers.”

The growth in demand is undeniable, with Australian gold exports to China more than doubling from 2011 to last year, surging from 110 metric tons to 232 metric tons.

China’s demand keeps soaring despite already being the number one gold producer in the world, which seems still not enough to sustain the growing demand levels.

Australia currently is in the second spot as the largest gold producing nation in the world, with a focus on exports.

“Gold mined in Australia has certain attributes, like being much lower in PGEs (the platinum group of elements) than gold mined in South Africa for instance,” noted Woodford.

Perth Mint’s direct distribution networks with China help to ease transactions, Woodford noted.

“There are 13 banks in China that have a license to import and we have direct supply agreements with seven of those,” he said. “The majority of our exports are in the form of [1 kilogram] gold bullion bars which are certified at 99.99 per cent purity,” Woodford said.

“In the past year, we refined more than 330 tonnes [metric tons] of gold and 540 tonnes of silver. We are focused on promoting the Australian gold industry to the world to build long term markets which will bring real benefits to Australian producers and workers for decades to come.”

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