Gold production falls after WA downpour

Consultancy firm Surbiton and Associates said heavy rain in Western Australia’s gold mining region is to blame for the 7 per cent fall in Australia’s first quarter gold output.

Surbiton’s Sandra Close said 68 tonnes of the precious metal had been produced in the three months to March, five tonnes less than in the December quarter.

Close said the lower output was due to rain which forced a number of mines to cut some of their ore production and restrict ore haulage.

"I'm sure many in Western Australia will know there's been some pretty intense storms and quite a bit of bad weather, which has certainly had an affect on gold production," she said.

“A lot of them were running on lower-grade stock piles for part of the time just so they can keep plans going to capacity. When you do that you end up with a slightly lower grade."

Bad weather hit WA’s Goldfields region in Mid-February, forcing Regis Resources to suspend operations at both its Rosemont and Garden Well pits flooded.

 Full production at both sites is set to recommence in June.

''As well as mining and haulage problems, wet, sticky ore affects crushers and conveyor belts,'' Close explained.

''Heavy rain can also restrict the supply of diesel and other consumables to remote mine sites.''

Due to a number of new mines coming into production, gold output was 8 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

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