Monday 8th Mar, 2021

Victoria sees start of second gold rush

Minerals exploration spending in Victoria has hit its highest peak since records began, with Resources Minister Jaclyn Symes claiming the state is seeing its next gold rush.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found exploration spending growth to be almost seven times more than in 2014, reaching $34.7 million.

ABS data has also shown Victorian mining employment has risen 41 per cent during the last financial year, supporting around 16,000 jobs across the state.

Resources Minister Jaclyn Symes said Victoria is seeing its next gold rush, with more gold being found every year and growing interest in exploration.

“Now is the time for companies to invest in Victorian minerals exploration,” she said.

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“Our minerals sector is extremely important for regional jobs – it’s really exciting to see this kind of confidence in a sector that’s going from strength-to-strength.”

In February, 30 applications for exploration licenses were issued, the highest monthly number in five years. The Victorian Government expects this number to grow with the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release tender process.

In addition, Victoria’s most productive gold mine at Fosterville has become the third largest gold operation in Australia, with the potential for a second gold mine at the site after new exploration uncovered high-grade deposits.

The gold industry has also benefited from the rising price of gold, which have reached a seven-year high following market volatility and a crash in crude oil prices.

The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates there may be more than 73 million ounces of undiscovered gold across the state, exceeding the total amount of gold unearthed over the past 170 years.