“On 18th November, 1954, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Gold Mining Industry Assistance Act to assist the gold-mining industry in Australia, Papua and New Guinea, by the payment of a subsidy to gold producers. Small producers, whose annual output did not exceed 500 ounces, received a subsidy of £1 10s. per ounce, irrespective of cost of production; the subsidy payable to larger producers varied up to a maximum rate of £2 per ounce.

“On 23rd May, 1956, the operation of the Act was extended for three years to 30th June, 1959, and under an amendment enabled on 22nd October, 1957, the Commonwealth Government raised the subsidy to small producers to £2 per ounce; for larger producers the subsidy was raised a maximum of £2 15s. per ounce. The operation of the Act was extended for a further period of three years on 22nd May, 1959.

Left: Mines Department Annual Report 1960. Images and content presented here from this report reproduced courtesy of NSW Trade & Resources, Minerals & Energy


A sharp rise in the price of gold on the London and other free markets in October, 1960, led to a revival of premium sales in that month. Sales on overseas premium markets in the last three months of 1960 were at higher prices than had been received in any year since 1953, and the monthly weighted average premium prices in the months of October, November and December, 1960, were respectively £A15.14s.1d., £A15. 16s. 7d., and £A15. 15s. 6d. per fine ounce.

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“From various parts of the State prospectors and fossickers won the remaining production, namely 63.98 ounces fine, valued at £916. Average number of men employed in the gold mining industry has been assessed at 78, while, in addition, it is estimated that 75 fossickers operated on a part-time basis.”

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