Gold price and antimony boost for Coast

17 April 2024
Development West Coast
The price of gold crosses $4,000 an ounce for the first, and it is speculated a small West Coast town could hold 5 percent of world's supply of a critical mineral essential for green technology.

“It’s great for the economy, and brings confidence for the future.” Development West Coast chief executive Heath Milne said the surging gold price was unprecedented and was giving a massive boost to both the West Coast and national economy.

“With these record highs, export receipts and the tax take from gold are going to make a big contribution to the national economy — it’s win-win all around.”

Several major gold projects were under way on the West Coast, he said. Federation Mining had already invested over $100 million in its Snowy River mine tunnelling underneath Waiuta. This project was already creating high-paying jobs, and was set to add even more once they move to gold production.

Another key player was Siren Gold, with a resource estimate of over 1.3 million ounces of gold, also in the Reefton area.

“Their recent capital raise underscores the ongoing confidence in our mining sector and its growth potential.”

Each mining job on the Coast contributes $340,565 to GDP, substantially higher than the national average across all industries of $137,196.

“And it’s not just gold prices that are rising. The price of antimony is now over $US12,000 per tonne, up from around $8000 four years ago,” Mr Milne said.

“Siren Gold has found significant amounts of this critical mineral around Reefton, and it’s speculated that a large proportion of the world’s supply of antimony is in the area.”

Antimony is critical to the world’s supply of semi-conductors, solar panels, wind turbines and is becoming very important to the EV and energy storage industries. One of its key properties is as a fire retardant (it can be used to prevent EV batteries from combusting).

Currently over 80% of the world’s supply of antimony comes from China and Russia, “so having another source has significant geopolitical implications, and economic opportunities for the West Coast”.

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