And the Australian gold winners are……

Two gold companies involved in the development of the Tropicana project north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia have shared the honour of Australia’s gold sector’s top explorer in 2006. Awarded annually by Gold Mining Journal (GMJ), Gold Explorer of the Year for 2006 has been bestowed on AngloGold Ashanti and the Independence Group. GMJ’s Gold Miner of the Year was Dominion Mining.

It has been a buoyant year in Australia for most metals commodities and gold has kept pace with its high price and a spate of projects making the conversion from exploration status to gold production. “This market buoyancy was reflected in the spread and depth of nominations received by the 28-member judging panel for 2006 – with little indication of a slowdown in the sector in the coming 12 months,” GMJ Editor, Barry Avery, said.

“AngloGold Ashanti and Independence are deserved winners as their progress at Tropicana, about 400 km northeast of Kalgoorlie, is helping this region shape up as an entirely new exploration province within the Yilgarn Block.” AngloGold Ashanti manages Tropicana, which covers more than 12,000 km2 of tenements. Avery said that while no JORC figures had yet been released for Tropicana, the exploration play is believed to host multi-million ounce gold deposits. AngloGold Ashanti has flagged a resource statement to be released in 2007.

Top miner winner, Dominion, has as its flagship Challenger gold mine, 250 km north of Ceduna on the Gawler Craton of South Australia. Dominion was recognised for increasing production at Challenger while containing costs and replacing resources and reserves. It is the second year in succession that the Company has walked away with GMJ’s Top Miner honour.

The list of winners is as follows:

2006 Gold Mining Journal Gold Explorer of the Year:

  1. Tropicana: AngloGold Ashanti/Independence Grou
  2. Avoca Resources
  3. Goldstar Resources/Navigator Resources
  4. Alkane Exploration
  5. Mercator Gold
  6. Dominion Mining, Integra Mining, Perseus Mining, Troy Resources, Red 5, Wedgetail Mining
  7. Cougar Metals, Moto Goldmines, Marengo Mining, Minotaur Exploration
  8. Bass Metals, Sino Gold, Oropa, Lihir Gold
  9. Monax Mining, Agincourt Resources, Dioro Exploration, Oxiana, Oceanagold, Tianshan Goldfields
  10. Tasgold, Medusa Mining, Andean Resources, Echo Resources, Northwest Resources

2006 Gold Mining Journal Gold Miner of the Year:

  1. Dominion Mining
  2. Troy Resources
  3. Barrick Gold
  4. St Barbara Mines
  5. Newcrest Mining
  6. Oxiana, Oceanagold
  7. Kingsgate Consolidated, Sino Gold
  8. Newmont Mining
  9. Equigold, Intrepid Minerals
  10. Lihir Gold.