Record gold prices fuel exploration

Gold’s constantly skyrocketing price has created a boom in production, greenfields exploration and investment in the metal.

Australian production of gold has increased to more than $12.4 billion based on spot prices production levels, which was also at a seven year high for the quarter.

This is despite the average gold price running below the 2009 heights of $1547 per ounce.

Production for September jumped 22%, approximately 12 tonnes from the previous corresponding period, to 67 tonnes, according to the September Australian Gold Quarterly Review released yesterday by Surbiton Associates.

These high September levels were on par with the June quarter.

According to the report, prior to these last two years, gold production had been on a slow downward trend from 314 tonnes in 1997 to a mere 220 tonnes in 2008.

Instead, 2009  saw production rise to 245 tonnes.

"We are now seeing the effects of re-evaluation of known deposits and the bringing of old mines back into production, as well as some new finds, so output is increasing," Surbiton director Sandra Close said.

She pointed to these rises as part of a trend and “not just a flash in the pan."

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