31/05/2021 - 10:30

Australian gold output down in early 2021

31/05/2021 - 10:30

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Australian gold production was down 11 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to Melbourne-based consultancy Surbiton Associates.

The Kalgoorlie Super Pit was among Australia's biggest gold producers during the March quarter. Photo: KCGM

Australian gold production was down 11 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to Melbourne-based consultancy Surbiton Associates.

Australia produced 74 tonnes of gold in the March quarter, compared with 83t in the December period.

Surbiton head Sandra Close said it was a considerable drop, but not a concern for the industry.

“Production was about three tonnes or four per cent less than the corresponding March 2020 quarter and such variations are not uncommon,” Dr Close said in a statement released on Sunday.

The March quarter is the shortest of the year and usually records the lowest production, according to the consultant.

Further, output early in the year is often affected by cyclonic weather in northern Australia; though, the impact was less this year.

“While the majority of local operations treated less ore in the latest three-month period, overall, the fact that the gold price remained favourable assisted many producers’ bottom lines,” Dr Close said.

“The first quarter’s production was worth some $A5.5 billion at the average gold price for the period.”

Northern Star Resources’ Kalgoorlie Super Pit was one among the country’s biggest gold producers in the March period, having contributed 111,278oz.

Australia’s biggest producer was Newcrest Mining’s Cadia East operation in NSW, having delivered 179,546oz, followed by Newmont Corporation’s Boddington mine in Western Australia and Tanami operation in the Northern Territory, producing 152,000oz and 117,000oz, respectively.

Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine in Victoria produced 108,679oz.

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