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Australia becomes world’s second-largest gold producer

The newly constructed
Telfer processing facility
in Australia
Melbourne, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 December 2009 – Australia has surpassed the United States as the world’s second-largest gold producer as American output dwindled in the first half of this year, according to a leading Australian research group.

In an e-mailed statement released here, Surbiton Associates Pty said that Australian gold output had risen to 112 metric tonnes in the six months to June 30. China had produced 147 tonnes and the United States 105 tonnes, the report added. Australian output in the three months to 30 September had been little changed at 56 tonnes, or 1.8 million ounces, the research group said.

Bloomberg News reports that bullion jumped to a record this month as the dollar’s slump deepened, prompting central banks to buy the precious metal. Australia produced about US$6.8 billion (R51 billion) worth of gold, according to Surbiton.

“With the continued decline in South African output and lower production in the United States in the first half of 2009, Australia has regained the No. 2 spot,” said Surbiton Associates director Sandra Close. Surbiton collates results from Australia’s gold-mining companies to produce its numbers.

Newcrest Mining Limited’s Telfer mine was Australia’s largest producing mine in the quarter, with output of 162 929 ounces, the report said. The Super Pit “’ a venture involving Newmont Mining Corporation and the world’s largest gold producer, Barrick Gold Corporation “’ ranked second at 162 000 ounces.