All that glitters may not be gold but when it comes public, media and investor interest in Victoria’s exploration and mining industry, there’s one mineral that shines out.
Since 1850, more than 80 million ounces of gold has been produced in Victoria. At today’s gold price, that’s worth around 150 billion dollars. With the gold price per ounce at an all-time high of over 2,000 dollars (Australian), there’s likely to be even more interest in one of the state’s oldest industries.
The history of gold mining in Victoria is rich but the future could hold an equivalent benefit for the state. The Geological Survey of Victoria estimate that around the same amount of gold that has been mined from Victoria over the last 169 years has yet to be discovered in the north of Victoria.
Our gold mining industry has really been on the up since 1972, that was the year when annual gold production in the state dipped to 10kg – the lowest since records began in the 1850s. By 1986 total annual production of gold in Victoria topped 1,000kg for the first time since 1959. Most years since then have seen an increase, with the figure in 2018 being in excess of 12,400kg.
It’s not just mining itself that is on the rise, minerals exploration across Victoria is increasing. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows annual mineral exploration expenditure in Victoria is growing at a high rate, up 47.8 per cent to December 2018, compared to 32.6 per cent growth for all of Australia over the period.
Exploration is the first step in establishing if minerals are present in an area. The likelihood of exploration activity leading to mining is very low. Mining proposals are subject to a stringent approvals and regulatory process.
Find our more about exploration.
The 2018 Stavely Ground Release is encouraging a new wave of minerals exploration in western Victoria. More ground in northern Victoria, with similar geology to the Fosterville gold deposit, will be released for minerals exploration later in 2019 via a competitive international tender.