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Gold mines in Australia

With a rich and diverse mining history, Australia was ranked second in the world among gold producing nations as of 2018. The nation mines about 300 tonnes annually, and is believed to have massive reserves of 9,500 tonnes of gold still underground.

Australia's iron ore and gold mining operations have been a major contributor to the nation’s economic growth history. The development and urbanisation of Perth and Australia’s western region – which occurred during the 1960s – was, and still is, particularly reliant on the mining industries.

Graph of Australian gold mine production .

Active gold mines in Australia

66 gold mines are currently operating in Australia, but the majority of the nation’s production comes from eleven mines in Western Australia. In international gold production terms, were Western Australia to be a nation, it would be the world's fifth largest producer.

Australian gold mines use internationally developed extraction techniques; these include open pit, underground operations, plus drill and blast methods. The majority of gold is obtained from open pit mines, such as the Fimiston Pit or Super Pit.

Map of Australian gold mines .

Australian gold production statistics

Below are production statistics for the five biggest gold mines in Australia:

Table showing gold production statistics .

The first finds of gold in Australia are thought to date back to before 1814. The country was at this time a virtual British colonial penal colony. In fear of possible chaos and rebellion the British authorities at first suppressed news of these discoveries.

In America, the California Gold Rush – which began on January 24th, 1848 – attracted a huge migration of workers from all over the world and, faced with potential loss of labour, the fledgling British colony changed its policy and made public its own gold discoveries. Many accounts, therefore, date the first discoveries of gold in Australia to those made by Edward Hargraves in 1851, which were widely publicised at the time.

This discovery led the way to the New South Wales and Victoria Gold Rushes and later the 1890s Western Australian Gold Rush. Immigrants from other parts of the British Empire and Ireland went seeking their fortunes, not just directly from mining but also indirectly from other supply trades.