Western Australia's gold sector in jeopardy

The Australian Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) warned Monday  the future of Western Australia's gold sector is uncertain as high exploration costs hamstring miners.

ABC News reports that several of the state's operating gold mines have declining reserves and lower ore quality as they dig deeper. The institution's representative, Simon Bennison, added that most gold miners are struggling to explore in greenfields areas because of the high costs of exploration.

The main operating gold fields in Western Australia were mostly discovered in the late 1800s or early 1900s, with few new major discoveries since, except the Yarmana Greenstone Belt east of the Eastern Goldfields, and the Tropicana project.