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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Conference Reports: 2003 Australian Gold Conference


2003 Australian Gold Conference
Sheraton Perth Hotel, Western Australia ,7th April 2003

The annual Australian Gold Conference, held by the Australian Gold Council, returned to Perth in 2003 following the successful 2002 Conference in Melbourne.

More than 200 delegates, from throughout Australia and overseas, attended this years event to hear presentations from a myriad of high profile industry and related industry experts, not least the CEO and Chairman of Newmont Mining, Mr Wayne Murdy.

Murdy addressed the perennial issue of consolidation in the global gold mining industry, and the future face of the industry. In his thought-provoking presentation Murdy explained that consolidation is cyclical, and a recurring trend of any mature industry.
Discussing consolidation at this conference is particularly relevant, as Australia has been the scene of significant merger activity over the last five years, he said. The catalyst for this consolidation has been three-fold - a low gold price, the resulting drive for scale and efficiencies, and access to global capital markets.
But Australia was not the only region impacted by consolidation. The gold mining industry in South Africa has a totally different face from five years ago, driven by the need for cost efficiencies and the desire to be re-rated, so as to access global markets.
In North America, names that no longer exist include Homestake, which was a 125-year-old company with the longest continuous listing on the NYSE, Battle Mountain, Amax Gold, Echo Bay and Sante Fe Gold. At the same time, we have seen the emergence of niche players such as Glamis, Meridian and Kinross Gold, companies with different cost structures and approaches to the majors, he said.

Also of high interest to delegates was Mr James Burton, recently appointed CEO of the World Gold Council, who provided an overview of the global gold industry, trends in demand and supply and industry opportunities in the future. His presentation was backed by extensive research undertaken by the WGC in recent months.

The 2003 Conference was held, for the first time, as part of Gold Week a new initiative of the Australian Gold Council designed to increase the profile of gold, and the gold industry, with the broader community.

The gold industry is one of the most historic and important to the Australian economy. The establishment of Gold Week, which incorporated a series of exciting public and industry events such as investor forums, the Perth Mint open day and gold jewellery fashion parades, was an enormous success.

CEO of the Australian Gold Council, Ms Tamara Gorrie, said the success of Gold Week was an indication of the interest and importance of the Australian gold industry.

We have a very active and robust gold industry in Australia that enjoys strong investor and public support as indicated by the enormous success of Gold Week, she said.

Conservative estimates suggest that more than 500,000 people were directly impacted by the events of Gold Week in this its first ever year, which is an excellent result for one of Australias most established and important industries.




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