A stronger US dollar is helping drive Australian gold production and buffeting local prospectors from the effects of a global sell-off in bullion, according to a sector survey released on Sunday and as reported via Reuters.
Production of the precious metal in Australia rose by 4% in the second quarter to 72 tonnes versus the previous quarter, second only to China, mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty Ltd said in its latest tally of Australia's gold mining industry.
A stronger greenback is playing into the hands of Australian prospectors, with the bullion price in Australian dollar terms relatively stable since the start of 2015, according to Surbiton's director, Sandra Close.
"Despite lower gold prices in U.S. dollar terms, the depreciation of the Australian dollar is proving a blessing for Australian gold producers," Close said.
"Although the gold price averaged U.S.$1,192 per ounce in the June quarter, the Australian dollar gold price averaged A$1,532 per ounce," she added.
Australia's gold output over the 12 months to June 30 rose 1% to 285 tonnes, which at today's prices is worth about A$14 billion ($10.05 billion).
China is estimated to have produced around 450 tonnes in calendar 2014.