Continent, where are the nuggets of giant


A half-century ago gold rush in Australia gave an enormous boost to economic growth and changed the face of the country. Adventurers are gone, but now the future of precious metals market it is extremely important to the national economy of the continent. Gold today is the second export product of Australia, bringing in over $ 5 billion in annual export earnings and indirectly providing a country almost 50,000 jobs.

Shoveled mountains of ore ...

Australia is one of the key zolotoproizvodyaschih regions. With 70% of all the gold mined countries of the continent in Western Australia (Table 1). That it is the third region in the world in terms of production of gold - after South Africa and Nevada. As the chairman of the "Sons of-Gvalia" Peter Lalor, a discovery Cadia in New South Wales suggests that other states may find gold if they pay due attention to exploration.

Historically gold mined throughout Australia. Local gold ore yield extraordinary geological and geographical diversity, making you sometimes scouts and geologists unravel mysteries of nature, and the engineers and metallurgists to use special methods.

In central Victoria in 1869 found the world's largest nugget weighing 70 kg. Then the miners pick open to unusual for the time depth of 1300 meters and shoveled the mountain saddle Bendigo. Start golden era allowed to raise production of the metal to 100 tons. But after a quarter-century volumes fell in two and a half times. The discovery of new gold-bearing regions were allowed to return to their previous level, but then again, production was sharply reduced. In 1980, Australia produced only 15 tons. Rising gold prices and new technologies will increase in 1986 to 75 tons. Production continued to rise up to the last time.

Cost saving was the development of relatively low-grade ores. Even the content is less than 2 grams per ton is now considered quite normal. Gold began to choose and the production of other metals.

The situation changes

In 90 years, the situation has become significantly different. Today, the Australian gold industry is facing significantly changed conditions. According to the Australian Bureau of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Resources (Abar), annual gold production in the country now stands at around 300 tonnes, however, is forecast, it may be reduced. The tendency to reduce the total volume of production occurred five years ago. In 2001, metal production totaled 281 ton, which is 5% less than the previous year and 11% less than in 1997.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the reduction of precious metal mining uncertainty state gold markets. Many experts have warned that the demand for gold will fall after 1997. This process will continue, as the central banks, the buyers of jewelry, such as India - the largest gold market, will pay less attention to this metal.

For a country-continent price situation recently looked quite favorably. In 2001, the average price was 524 Australian dollars, an 8-year high. At the same time, the current price of about 50% higher than in the mid-1999 can be concluded that the level of production in the first place affect the internal situation in the development of the industry. Australia lies 10.12 gold belt. In the 80's and early 90's mining and processing of gold ore takes a significant number of small and medium sized companies. In some regions, there is competition in the production and exploration. However, the process of restructuring, changing the position of corporations and regions. Thus, in the Southern Cross, which runs one of the most prominent gold belt of Australia, in a radius of 150 km are several plants. In recent years, these small territories were consolidated into a single gold mining region, controlled by a single corporation. All this is now - one factory belonging to "Sons of-Gvalia."