Australia’s gold production hits new record high

Cadia Valley operation in New South Wales was 2018’s top producing mine, dethroning Newmont Mining’s Boddington operation in WA. (Image courtesy of Newcrest Mining.)

Australia’s gold production hit an all-time high of 317 tonnes in 2018, breaking the previous record of 314.5 tonnes, which stood for 21 years, consultancy Surbiton Associates says.

In the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, the country’s gold output totalled 81 tonnes, making it the third consecutive quarter where it exceeded 80 tonnes, they say in their latest report.

The country’s gold production hit an all-time high of 317 tonnes in 2018, breaking the previous record of 314.5 tonnes, which stood for 21 years.

“Overall, production is remarkably stable, despite the ups and downs at individual operations,” Surbiton director Sandra Close said. “If gold output is maintained at current levels in the December quarter, output for the full calendar year 2018 will remain at a near-record level.”

Australia continues to solidify its position as the No. 2 gold-producing nation in the world, just behind China, the consultancy says.

The top five largest producers shifted over the course of the year, Surbiton notes.

Newcrest Mining’s Cadia operation in New South Wales was 2018’s top producing mine, dethroning Newmont Mining’s Boddington operation in WA.

Cadia yielded just over 750,000 ounces while Boddington produced 710,000 ounces.

Newmont and Barrick Gold’s Super Pit dropped to third last year.

Newmont’s Tanami in the Northern Territory was fourth with 496,000 ounces of gold, while AngloGold Ashanti and Independence Group’s Tropicana mine in WA was fifth with 477,908 ounces.

This year, Surbiton says, the country will benefit from additional production coming from Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources’ new 300,000 ounces a year Gruyere mine in Western Australia. It will be also boosted by Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine in Victoria, which is expected to yield a record of about 600,000 ounces.

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