Australia’s gold output the highest in over 10 years

Australia’s gold output the highest in over 10 yearsGold output in Australia, the world’s No.2 producing nation after China, reached a record high in 2014, adding up 11 tonnes or 4%, a survey by mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty shows.

Speaking to Reuters, Sandra Close, director at Surbiton and Associates, said that lower prices forced Australian gold miners to increase the grade of ore they were targeting and push their processing plants even harder.

"Superficially, the figures give the impression of a healthy and vibrant industry but you need to dig a little deeper to get the whole picture. Its not all good news," Close was quoted as saying.

Gold in Australian dollars peaked in August 2011 at just over A$1,800 per ounce compared to around A$1,550 per ounce currently, Close noted.

Over this period the Australian dollar exchange rate has declined by 25 percent, while the U.S. dollar gold price has fallen some 37%, she said.

According to the expert, the prospect of a higher rate of state gold royalties in Western Australia would further harm employment prospects in an industry already suffering steep job losses.

Gold remained capped by dollar strength in Tuesday morning trading ahead of the release of blockbuster US jobs data and further details on US and EU monetary policy moves.

The yellow metal was last back above $1,200 at $1,209 per ounce, up $2.30 on Monday’s close and up from an intraday low of $1,195.50.