Gold

A look at Western Australia

Gold is a commodity and monetary asset.
Gold is a commodity and monetary asset.

Gold was Western Australia’s second most valuable mineral sector in 2015-16, with $10 billion in sales – representing 14.5 per cent of total mineral sales.

Western Australia is the country’s major gold producer, accounting for about 70 per cent of Australia's total gold production. In 2015-16, eight producers accounted for 73 per cent of Western Australia’s gold sales.

Uses

Gold has a dual character as both a commodity and a monetary asset.

The mineral’s high malleability, ductility, electrical conductivity, corrosion and chemical resistance have led to its continued use in electrical connectors in all types of computerised devices, as well as infrared shielding, coloured glass and gold leafing.

Across the globe

Having peaked at $1,790 in July of 2016, the Australian dollar gold price averaged $1,613/oz in 2015-16, the highest financial year average since 2011-12. This gain was almost entirely due to a weakening Australian dollar over that period - the average US dollar gold price in 2015-16 was at its lowest since 2009-10.

Australia is estimated to have the world’s largest gold reserves, with 9,100 tonnes or 16 per cent of the total world estimated gold reserves of 56,000 tonnes.  Geoscience Australia estimates that 60 per cent of Australia’s gold reserves are in Western Australia. Around the world, Russia and South Africa are estimated to have the next largest reserves with 14 per cent and 11 per cent shares respectively.

Gold infographic
Stats Digest graph: Gold exports
Gold infographics graph
2015-16 Stats Digest graph: Gold quantity and value by quarter 2015-16

Quarter

Quantity

Value

Mar-14

48.81

2265.77

Jun-14

48.68

2160.45

Sep-14

48.54

2161.53

Dec-14

48.70

2198.35

Mar-15

47.14

2346.58

Jun-15

48.84

2404.04

Sep-15

47.57

2368.15

Dec-15

50.72

2499.84

Mar-16

48.33

2550.22

Jun-16

48.31

2617.94