Australia is one of the biggest producers of gold in the world. Gold has played a significant role in the history of the country and continues to play a big role in its economy too. New South Wales became the country’s economic hub when the gold rush began in the town of Bathurst in 1851. There were more gold discoveries in Victoria and Western Australia. This led to the creation of many mining companies that have brought much development and boosted economy, transportation, and many other things. Some would say that gold is the lifeblood of Australia. There is probably more cash for gold companies in Western Australia than there are in any other country in the world. Australians mine and recycle gold as much as they produce it. The gold industry in Western Australia is dominated by five gold mines:
- Boddington Gold Mine, Newmont Mining: Boddington Gold Mine is located 130km south-east of Perth. The mine started in 1987 and until June of last year, it produced 739,000 ounces of gold. The mine is being expanded to produce an average of 850,000 ounces of gold per annum. The mine was bought by Newmont Mining in 2005. In 2009, Newmont was bought by AngloGold. The mind has an estimated 20 years of life left.
- Kalgoorlie Superpit Gold Mine, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd (KCGM): Dan Shea, Thomas Flanagan and Paddy Hannan found almost 100 ounces of gold in 1893 in an area now known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The hold rush that resulted led to the discovery of the Golden Mile which is one of the richest gold deposits in the world. By 1989 all the individual land leases in the area were consolidated into what is now known as Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd (KCGM). The mine has produced over 800,000 ounces of gold per annum over the last 25 years. The Superpit was the largest gold mine in Australia until 2012 when Boddington took over as the largest gold producer in Western Australia.
- Telfer Gold Mine, Newcrest: Telfer Hold Mine is located in the Great Sandy Desert area of Western Australia. From 1975 to 200 the mine produced an average of 6 million ounces of gold. It was closed from 2000 to 2004. Since its reopening in 2004, the mine has been producing an average of 4 million ounces of gold. Telfer is made up of the Main Dome and West Dome pits as well as an underground mine. There are exploration targets surrounding the mine, which means that it is placed to continue growing its gold output. In 2016 the life of the mine was calculated to last until 2018 for the open pit mining and 20121 for the underground operation.
- Jundee Gold Mine, Northern Star Resources: Jundee has located 520 Km North of Kalgoorlie in an area known as the Goldfields Region of Western Australia. Open pit mining began in 1995 and in 1997 two underground mines began producing gold. The mine was bought by Northern Star Resources in 2014. Currently, all the ore at the mine is sourced from underground mining operations.
- Lake Cowal Gold Mine, Evolution Mining: Cowal Mine is located 350 km west of Sydney. It was bought from Barrick Gold by Evolution Mining in 2015. This open pit mine produces an average of 230,000 ounces of hold per year. The life of the mine is expected to go on until 2024. This mine has been described as having the most attractive gold assets and the owners plan to explore it further.
Most of these mines are nearing the end of their gold producing life. It is estimated that by 2021- 2025, most mines in Western Australia will have reached their peak gold. This means that a lot of operations will close down unless new gold deposits are found. The mining industry is at a critical stage in Australia and a lot of mining companies are winding down their operations. However, the country still remains an important source of gold in the world and companies play an important role in the industry and the economy of the country. However,