Members of the gold industry gathered at the Perth Mint last night to learn the results of a Deloitte Access Economics report into the sector, commissioned by the Gold Industry Group.
It is expected that gold mining will contribute over A$13.4 billion to the Australian economy this financial year.
Gold companies were also the biggest explorers, spending $617.6 million in 2016, close to 50% of the total.
“There are currently 66 operating gold mines in Australia including 14 of the world’s largest, 11 of which are in Western Australia,” Deloitte Access Economics partner Matt Judkins told the crowd when launching the report last night.
“More than 80,000 people live in gold mining towns or regions across the country with some 26,000 people directly employed by this sector.”
Gold Industry Group chairperson and Perth Mint CEO Richard Hayes said the research clearly demonstrated the importance of the gold industry to the nation’s economic prosperity as the world’s second-largest producer.
“In 2016, we produced more than 280 tonnes, 70% of which was mined in Western Australia,” he said.
“This would make the state the 5th largest gold producer globally if it were a country.”
WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston attended the launch and said it was pleasing to see the ongoing strength of the gold sector.
Johnston noted the increase in gold drilling program of work applications in the March quarter and pledged to help the sector by reducing red tape and bureaucracy.