Glittering future for Australian gold exports
The findings in the June 2019 edition of Resources and Energy Quarterly reflect expected rises in gold prices, local gold production, and export volumes.
The latest report includes a special focus on gold – which is forecast to overtake thermal coal as Australia’s fourth largest export this financial year (behind iron ore, LNG and metallurgical coal).
Australia’s gold exploration expenditure rose by 17 per cent year-on-year in the March quarter 2019, to $220 million, driven by higher prices.
Western Australia accounted for 71 per cent (or $156 million) of that expenditure.
Australian gold production is estimated to have grown by 4.7 per cent in 2018–19, to 317 tonnes.
Production is forecast to peak at 339 tonnes in 2019–20, but then fall to 332 tonnes in 2020–21.
The report said trade and geopolitical risks were likely to support strong gold prices.
The gold price is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 4.2 per cent between 2019 and 2021, averaging US$1,440 an ounce in 2021.
The report warns that maintaining Australia’s position as the world’s second largest gold producer will require continuous efforts to improve the industry’s competitiveness through innovation and enhanced exploration.
A full copy of the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report, issued by the Office of the Chief Economist, can be accessed HERE.