(Mining Weekly) – Gold production in Australia this quarter was lower compared to the preceding one, but it rose slightly compared to the same period last year.
Gold production in Australia fell in the first quarter ended in March 2013, to reach 63.5 tonnes, about 2 million ounces. Compared to the previous quarter ended in December 2012, 67 tonnes tonnes were produced to record a decline by 5%, according to Reuters. Mining consultancy Surbiton Associates remarked that production numbers compared to those of March 2012 were faintly higher.
Subriton said March is the shortest quarter, and it also covers the New Year holidays. Therefore, it’s expected to have weaker numbers. Sandra Close, Subriton director, said that March quarter closed before April’s historic decline in the gold price. She noted that the slump in the gold price in terms of Australian dollar was weaker.
Australian gold production faces a threat if the gold price continues to fall. Gold price rise from an average of $300 per ounce in 2000 to $1,600 in 2010 made gold production from lower grades economic. If the prices declined again, it would deem the operations uneconomic, especially after noting that gold head grades are declining for the past 10 years.
Close commented on Australian gold operations closing and selling saying that it is normal. She said that mining companies who are not prepared for such an event, like price slump, will suffer the most.