The Innovative Financing of the Australian Gold Industry

Gillies A D S, ; White A H,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
In recent years the Australian gold industry has gone through a major expansion phase. The need for finance has led to adoption of different approaches such as the well known gold loan, forward selling, equity participation by suppliers and equipment leasing. During early periods of the expansion, significant new equity was raised chiefly for high risk exploration ventures. The major form of new equity finance was ordinary shares, often in 'No Liability' companies. The increasing capital requirement of the huge new development projects of the 1980s also spurred the use of debt finance. This trend was accelerated as high inflation and the taxation advantages of debt finance made borrowing attractive. This paper reviews major financing techniques used by the Australian gold industry with particular emphasis on the innovative financing techniques initiated recently. An analysis has been undertaken of the effects on the industry of issues such gold loans, forward selling, equity participation by suppliers, fly-in fly-out operations, contractor mining and equipment leasing. In order to achieve a better understanding of the innovative financing techniques, a survey of already published financial data from well known Australian gold mines was carried out. Data was collected from various published financial reports of gold mining companies. In addition, a questionnaire survey was sent to gold mining companies to assist the collection of further information. The results of this study show that there are a significant number of gold mines variously using gold loans, forward sales, contractor mining and fly-in and fly-out arrangements to finance their projects. Only four operations have vendor suppliers investing capital funds in their projects. Based on the findings of this study, conclusions and recommendations are drawn that these approaches are likely to be with Australian gold industry for some time in the future and will continue to be intensively applied to finance gold projects.
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