Australian gold production for the first half of 2021 was four tonnes more than China’s figures for the same period, according to Melbourne consulting group Surbiton Associates.
From January to June, Australia produced 157 tonnes of gold, with 74 tonnes in the March quarter and 83 tonnes in the June quarter.
China produced 153 tonnes of gold for the same period.
Australia’s 12 per cent increase in gold production from the March to June quarter of 2021 can be put down to new and existing operations increasing their output.
Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville mine in Victoria boosted its production by 49,000 ounces in the June quarter, due to increased grades.
“Fosterville has certainly had an excellent few years and is currently Australia’s third largest single operation, for both the full 2020/21 financial year and the latest June quarter,” Surbiton Associates director Sandra Close said.
“However, it took many years and several owners before its true worth was revealed.”
Newmont’s Boddington operation in Western Australia increased by 36,000 ounces, while the output of Evolution Mining’s Mount Carlton mine in Queensland jumped by 11,700 ounces of gold.
Capricorn Resources’ Karlawinda mine also entered the fray.
“One of the new operations was Capricorn Resources’ Karlawinda project, in the Pilbara, south-east of Newman. Its first gold was poured in the June quarter and it is ramping up to annual production of around 100,000 ounces,” Close said.
Newcrest Mining’s Cadia East operation was the largest gold producer for the 2020-21 financial year, with 764,895 ounces. Boddington followed with 700,000 ounces while Fosterville was third producing 592,178 ounces.
According to US Geological Survey data, China has been the world’s largest producer of gold since 2007 when it overtook South Africa. For over a decade, Australia has been the world’s second largest producer of gold.
China’s drop in gold production can be put down to work accidents including deaths, Surbiton Associates reports, with shut downs occurring as investigations took place.