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 Australia produces about 300 tons of gold annually, currently ranking it about fourth in the world. Exploration for gold continues to be a major activity for Australian mining companies, with target areas extending to the South Pacific and Southeast Asian regions. Whether a discovery is ever mined depends greatly on the size and nature of the deposit and its geographic position, the concentration of gold in the rocks (known as the grade) and, perhaps most importantly, on the international price of gold. Despite some rich deposits being brought into production, none have changed the course of a nation like the fabulous finds of the 1850s. Credits: By Dr Bill Birch, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Museum Victoria


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