China’s demand for Aussie minerals high


The seemingly insatiable hunger from China for Australian minerals goes well beyond bulk commodities like coal, iron ore and increasingly LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Despite China being the largest producer of gold in the world, exports of Australian gold to the middle kingdom have soared in the past six years.
The Perth Mint sold $11 billion (K27.7 billion) worth of bullion to China last year alone, and demand continues to climb.
Demand is so strong that Perth Mint brings in gold from mines in other countries like Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, and jewellery from Southeast Asia that is refined down to the Mint’s signature 99.99 per cent gold bullion.
It gives added impetus to the gold miners, gold hopefuls, financiers and service companies which have descended on Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia for the 26th Diggers and Dealers mining conference.
The three-day conference will also feature a growing number of the tech metal companies which have shot to the fore as renewable energy infrastructure and storage requirements grow.
The tech metals complex includes minerals like lithium and cobalt and despite not being metals, the complex also includes rare earths and graphite. But it is gold miners large and small, local and international, that will – as always –  dominate proceedings.
For thousands of years gold has maintained its allure and status as a both a currency and a currency storage, or so-called safe haven.
Geopolitical risk and response to events like the election of US President Donald Trump and the Brexit decision for UK to leave European Union are helping drive a 21st century gold boom.
The historic Perth Mint has been refining gold silver and turning them in to high quality bullion for well over a century.
In recent times India had been a strong market, but import tariffs introduced by the Indian Government in 2011 had the mint looking for new markets.
Management put a concerted effort into securing a Chinese market, and in 2014 the Perth Mint became the first foreign refinery accredited on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
The Perth Mint’s chief operating officer, David Woodford, said they moved into the Chinese market through international bullion banks.

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