Australia has anchored its second largest gold producer title in recent years and local gold output has been growing relentlessly over the past several years (Figure 1).
The following is the list of top five largest gold mines in Australia prepared by Mines and Metals on the basis of corporate reports.
With 871 kozt of gold mined in 2019, Newcrest’s Cadia East mine was the largest gold producing center in Australia, followed by Newmont’s Boddington and Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville mines. Fourth largest gold operation in Australia was AngloGold Ashanti’s Tropicana mine. Newmont’s Tanami mine is closing the top five list.
The detailed analysis is below.
Largest gold mines in Australia. Source: Mines and Metals. Where necessary, data normalized to 2019 calendar year.
1.Cadia East. 871 kozt of gold mined in 2019.
Newcrest’s Cadia is made up of the Cadia East underground panel cave mine and the Ridgeway underground mine (currently in care and maintenance). Cadia East is the biggest gold mine in Australia. Cadia’s 16% y-o-y gold production growth was predominantly driven by increased mill utilization and higher gold head grades reflecting an increased proportion of higher grade ore feed.
2. Boddington. 703 kozt of gold mined in 2019.
Newmont’s Boddington mine is located within the Saddleback greenstone belt in Western Australia. A large gold and copper mine, Boddington is located 16 km from the rural farming town of Boddington and 120 km from Western Australia’s capital city, Perth. Boddington was a three-way joint venture between Newmont, AngloGold Ashanti and Newcrest. In 2009, Newmont purchased AngloGold Ashanti’s shares to become the sole owner of Boddington. Commercial production began in 2009, and in March 2011 the operation produced its first one million ounces of gold. Boddington mine is set to become the world’s first open-pit gold mine with an autonomous haul truck fleet once it begins operations in 2021.
3. Fosterville. 619 kozt in 2019.
Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville Mine is a high-grade, low cost underground gold mine, located 20km from the city of Bendigo in the State of Victoria, Australia. The Fosterville Mine features growing gold production at increasingly high grades, as well as extensive in-mine and district scale exploration potential. In 2019, Kirkland Lake achieved a record 74% y-o-y production growth at Fosterville.
4. Tropicana. 513 kozt of gold mined in 2019.
Tropicana mine is located 330km ENE of Kalgoorlie on the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert of which the traditional owners and custodians emanate from the Wongatha and Spinifex peoples. IGO targeted and pegged the area containing the current ore reserves in 2001. AngloGold Ashanti farmed into the project in 2002, discovering the Tropicana Operation, Havana and Boston Shaker gold deposits respectively in 2005, 2006 and 2010. The decision to develop the Tropicana Operation was announced in November 2010, following completion of a positive Bankable Feasibility Study. Mining of the Havana deposit commenced in 2012 and first gold was produced in September 2013.
5. Tanami. 500 kozt of gold mined in 2019.
Newmont has fully owned and operated the Tanami mine since 2002. The mine is located in the remote Tanami Desert of Australia. The underground mine and plant are located on Aboriginal freehold land that is owned by the Warlpiri people and managed on their behalf by the Central Desert Aboriginal Lands Trust. Tanami is a Fly-in, Fly-out (FIFO) operation in one of Australia’s most remote locations. Tanami is 270km from its closest neighbours, the remote Aboriginal community of Yuendumu.