Strategist MinEx Consulting has released the findings of a long-term report on the future of the Australian gold mining industry from 2017–2057.
The report represents part of a larger report into the future for Australian ore as a whole, and draws from 1000 possible future scenarios to make some compelling predictions.
The study states that over the next 40 years there is a 90 per cent chance the gold price will lie between $793 and $2258 per ounce (an average of $1524 compared with $1650 today), and predicts that in 15 years, half of Australia’s gold production will come from as yet undiscovered mines and within the next 40 years gold revenues and production are set to drop by up to 50 per cent, while the number of operating mines could drop by one-third.
In addition, employment in the industry could drop by up to 70 per cent, no doubt affected by the industry trend towards automation.
There is a silver lining however; the report states that Australia can continue its current level of production and avoid such drops in one of two ways. The first is to double exploration spend, and the second is to double the number of discoveries.
The report was led by MinEx head and University of Western Australia adjunct professor Richard Schodde, a prominent industry analyst with over 35 years of experience.