Gold Digger: Market proves challenging for Australian gold plays
Australian unemployment figures and a surge of COVID-19 infections in Victoria have sent jitters through gold players.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australian unemployment rose by 0.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent in June, the highest rate since November 1998.
However, total employment also improved over the month compared to May with 210,800 Australians finding some form of employment – mostly part-time.
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Meanwhile, Victoria continued to record higher numbers of infections with 428 new cases reported today.
The news weighed on ASX gold companies with just 34 of the 147 companies tracked by Stockhead showing gains this week.
However, the outlook for the precious metal remains strong with stimulus programs and market uncertainty remaining drivers for further price growth.
Analysts have already flagged that a $US2,000 an ounce gold price is likely before the end of this year and that it could climb further beyond that.
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Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) was the biggest gainer on our list after announcing that it had secured an option to earn up to 75 per cent in a high-grade gold project near Meekatharra in WA.
This is a richly endowed area that has produced nearly 4 million ounces of gold and still holds over 2.7 million ounces in current resources.
Previous drilling by Doray Minerals at Side Well had returned notable results such as:
Managing director Andrew Paterson says the history of the Meekatharra field demonstrates this area keeps on giving.
“Westgold are mining underground at Paddy’s Flat, right in the historic centre of the field,” he added.
Meanwhile, Focus Minerals (ASX:FML) shares were up 20 per cent this week after the company upgraded its Beasley Creek South resource by 213 per cent to 115,761 ounces of contained gold.
Beasley Creek South is 400m south of the Beasley Creek deposit, which is a core asset of the company’s 100%-owned Laverton gold project.
The upgrade was based on recent shallow drilling campaigns that returned a top result of 17m at 9.28g/t gold from 168,
It also plans to complete a pre-feasibility study for the first stage of its Laverton project by the end of 2020.