THE head of gold producer Ramelius Resources has used the company’s 10th anniversary to call for a more realistic approach to exploration activities from government and industry.
Managing director Ian Gordon said the outlook for Australian gold producers was grim unless the government provided some sort of incentive for further exploration.
“Australia’s pool of pure gold producers is rapidly dwindling through a combination of resource exhaustion, low levels of exploration and a high level of merger and acquisition activity,” he said.
“For Australia to maintain a viable gold industry, it needs mid-tier independents and juniors to maintain exploration momentum.
“That momentum will stagnate and shrivel unless there is some urgent rewriting of tax relief or investment incentives, whether just for the gold sector or broader minerals exploration activity.”
Since achieving first production in 2006, Ramelius has generated $446 million in gold sales revenue and produced 326,000oz of gold.
Ramelius recently announced it would achieve a return to annualised production rates of more than 100,000oz by September, with a production estimate of about 150,000 ounces per annum by 2016.
The company is a high-grade gold producer, with a bonanza-style open pit and underground mining operation at its Wattle Dam gold mine near Kambalda in WA.
Ramelius has also explored in Queensland and Nevada in the US, with plans to move from a one-mine operation to multiple gold mines centred on its ownership of the Mt Magnet gold project in WA.
“It is important that the company springboards off its historic strong performance in discovery and mine development,” Mr Gordon said.
“We intend to build a solid and sustainable project pipeline for a second decade of gold exploration and mine development, primarily in Australia but potentially also in select overseas areas such as Nevada offering an early return on investment.”