Evolution chairman upbeat on value of gold sector

Evolution Mining's Cowal site.

Evolution Mining chairman Jake Klein has backed mining’s value, saying the industry has brought Australia to its economic prosperity.

His comment comes at a time when “Mining is often portrayed negatively in many corners of the mainstream media,” Klein said in Evolution’s 2019 annual report.

Klein said Evolution contributed around $1.28 billion dollars to the Australian economy in the 2019 financial year alone.

Its operations also provided much needed jobs in the country’s regional areas.

“The communities in which we operate and our employees are potentially our most powerful advocates,” Klein said.

“We need to continually work to demonstrate that we are worthy of their support and trust.”

Klein added that Evolution’s nine shared value projects under way were designed to create a “tangible, sustainable legacy in our communities” beyond the life of the mine.

Meanwhile, Evolution is seeing signs of cost inflation creeping back into the gold industry as the Australian dollar gold price trades around record highs.

“It’s a fantastic time to be an Australian gold producer. But if history is any guide, we are entering a challenging period if we wish to remain a credible and margin focussed business,” Klein said.

“At Evolution, we dare to be different. We cannot use industry headwinds as an excuse and concede higher costs are inevitable. The vast majority of our cost base is within our control, and we must continue to be laser focussed on finding innovative ways to reduce or at least maintain our low-cost base.”

Evolution delivered 251,500 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $995 an ounce at the Cowal mine in the 2019 financial year, according to Klein.

Mt Carlton also had “another strong year” with production of 106,646 ounces at an AISC of $737 an ounce during the period.

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