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The future of Australian mining minerals: gold

The future of Australian mining metals: gold

A historical symbol of wealth and success, gold continues to stand out as one of the most desirable consumer products. But can gold keep its place as the most fashionable metal among investors? 

Continuing our exploration of iron ore and copper last time, the team at National Plant & Equipment are taking a closer look at the future of Australian gold mining

Gold Overview

Gold has been one of Australia’s top exports since the 1970’s, and we hold the position of the world’s third largest gold producer. Australia is lucky to have substantial gold resources located in all States and the Northern Territory, with the majority discovered in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.

Market shifts

The value of gold in the market has been climbing consistently and rapidly since 2006. As a result of increasing capacity and productivity for our gold refinery industry, we’ve seen exports nearly triple since 2001.

Market shifts for gold depend on whether demand is driven by consumers or investors. Both take global phenomena and use it to predict the way markets will move, like jewellery fashions or potential national economic fluctuations.

Industry demand

Gold’s rapid growth since the GFC was due to a sudden increase in demand, because its stability is an asset. However, that price surge has reached a more of a plateau with economies reaching stability.

China, India, the UK, Thailand and Singapore are the world’s biggest users of gold, and Australia should be sustained by strong demand from these countries throughout the next decade.

Other factors

Australia’s position as an important global gold exporter may be threatened by China becoming a significant driver of worldwide gold production and consumption. China’s Central Bank allowed Chinese commercial banks to import and export gold abroad in 2010, which could uplift Australian gold mining or hold it hostage in the future.

Although ABARES forecasts indicate that Australia’s gold production market will be strong well into 2016, there are fears that the industry needs an exploration incentive scheme to continue to experience success in the coming decades. The high costs of exploration, gold mining machinery and start-up are affecting miners. Despite these difficulties, the industry should return to a boom once explorers are able to capitalise on a market recovery.

Keep an eye out for the next article in our future of Australian mining metals focused on nickel.  For gold mining machinery that maximises your returns and offers dynamic, flexible and viable alternatives for plant and equipment needs, contact National Plant and Equipment. If you’re looking to rent or buy quality mining machinery, check out our heavy machinery range of equipment for mining.