Australia’s commitment to gold-mining
Australia is the world’s second-largest producer of gold, which has become one of its main export commodities. With major exploration investments and numerous projects about to enter production, Australia is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for gold.
Australia accounts for 10% of the world’s gold production, the second-largest gold-producing country in the world after China. Furthermore, according to Statista data from 2022, it is the country with the largest gold reserves (8,000 metric tonnes) in the world, the vast majority of which are located in Western Australia and account for 68% of total production.
Australian gold exports to more than 55 countries generated revenues of $25.8 billion in 2022, and production from new mines and expansions of existing mines is expected to boost Australia’s gold mining output to 305 tonnes in the 2022-2023 period to meet the growing demand for the golden metal.
This increase in production has been spurred by geopolitical tensions between the US, Russia and China, and the revitalisation of the investment and jewellery markets. This is largely due to the search by governments, investors and citizens for stable assets on which they can rely in times of crisis.
New gold mining projects
The country has two of the 20 largest gold mines in the world and reserves totalling more than 380 million ounces of gold. This is an industrial sector that is in the process of consolidation on a global scale, especially by mining companies with holdings in minerals essential for the energy transition.
This trend was confirmed last May when the board of Australian miner Newcrest Mining approved a 17.5 billion euro takeover bid by US rival Newmont, paving the way for the world’s largest gold mining company to strengthen its grip on the sector.
The gold mining sector, as with other minerals, faces rising extraction costs as deposits become less accessible. Even so, according to Mining Technology, there are around 100 gold mining projects under development across the country, of which 11 are already under construction and expected to be operational by 2025, increasing the production capacity of Australian gold mines by more than 36.2 million metric tonnes.
At the very least, the Australian case exemplifies how collaboration between the government and the mining sector is essential to address stagnating production and to ensure that the gold industry continues to play a key role in the country’s history and economic prosperity.
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