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Australian Gold Production Hits 18-Year High In 2017 - Surbiton

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Australian gold production hit its highest level in almost two decades and new gold discoveries and higher prices should help the nation maintain its position as the second largest gold producer in the world, according to mining consulting firm Surbiton Associates Pty Ltd.

In a report Sunday, the firm said that Australian gold production rose to 301 tonnes in 2017, its highest level since 1999. Gold production during the December quarter 2017 totaled around 80 tonnes, an increase of six tonnes from the previous quarter.

While gold production increased, Aussie miners also enjoyed a modest rise in prices, which increased 4.5% in 2017, ending the year at $1,662 an ounce.

“At the average gold price for 2017, the 301 tonnes was worth almost A$16 billion,” said Dr. Sandra Close, a Surbiton Associates’ director. “Australian gold production is still trending upwards and the next few years look promising.”

Looking ahead, Close said that her firm would not be surprised if annual Aussie gold production hit record highs as new production comes online.

“Given the number of projects coming on stream and with few closures anticipated, it would not be surprising to see another 20 tonnes of production added to Australia’s annual output,” Close said. “This suggests that Australia’s all-time record annual gold production of 314 tonnes recorded in 1997 might well be exceeded.”

But, Close also warned that production numbers on a quarterly basis are expected to remain volatile with a decline expected to be reported in the March quarter due to common weather-related disruptions.

Currently, Australia is the world’s second-largest gold producer, behind China, which according to the World Gold Council produced 430 tonnes of the yellow metal last year.

Top Aussie Gold Producers 2017

Operation Ounces Owner
Boddington 787,000 Newmont Mining Corp
Super Pit – JV 738,000 Newmont Mining Corp 50%, Barrick Gold Corp 50%
Cadia Valley* 545,869 Newcrest Mining Ltd
Tropicana 461,704 AngloGold 50%, Independence Group NL 50%
Tanami 419,000 Newmont Mining Corp

*Two treatment plants

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