An innovative tourism initiative showcasing the complete gold production process was unveiled by the Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, at The Perth Mint today.
A joint enterprise between Go West Tours, Newmont Australia and The Perth Mint, the Mine to Mint guided day tour will provide a fascinating insight into the State’s gold mining industry, taking visitors to the nation’s largest operating gold mine and to Australia’s oldest operating mint.
From the massive Newmont Boddington Gold Mine, 130kms south-east of Perth, to the historic Perth Mint in the city’s east end, visitors will discover the remarkable journey of gold from its origins to its natural glory.
With Australia being the world’s second largest gold producer and 70 per cent of that production from Western Australian mines, the excursion is a milestone collaboration which links two of the State’s most significant industries – gold and tourism.
As the first tour of its kind in Australia, Mine to Mint adds a new dimension to the unique tourism offerings for which Western Australia is renowned, combining the attractions of The Perth Mint with an actual visit to an operating gold mine.
Leaving from Perth, visitors will travel by luxury coach to Boddington Gold Mine. Provided with a high visibility vest, hard hat and safety glasses, guests can peer over the rim of the giant South Pit to see haul trucks transporting loads of gold bearing ore then travel through the processing plant where the ore is crushed and copper and gold is extracted.
Following lunch in the Boddington town site and gold panning by the Hotham River, guests will journey to The Perth Mint, where Western Australia’s history comes to life.
At the Mint, visitors will see the largest gold coin in the world, the second biggest natural nugget in existence and precious metal coins and medallions being minted. From there, patrons can enter the Mint’s original melting house and watch molten gold being poured to form a solid gold bar and walk inside an 1899 vault to handle more than $500,000 worth of gold bullion.
Go West Tours General Manager David Haoust said the Mine to Mint tour brought WA’s rich golden history to life and would give visitors and the people of Western Australia a unique opportunity to see the workings of an operating gold mine and mint.
“Go West Tours is delighted to be working with The Perth Mint and Newmont Boddington Gold to deliver a fantastic new tour for Western Australia and to be contributing to developing tourism and attracting visitors to our amazing State,” Mr Haoust said.
Newmont Boddington Gold General Manager Jim Cooper said it was not widely known that the Boddington gold mine had eclipsed the Kalgoorlie Super Pit as Australia’s largest gold mine, with production reaching 787,000 ounces in 2017.
“Though Boddington is most commonly associated with agriculture and forestry, it is interesting to note that the association with gold goes back to identification of the Saddleback greenstone belt in 1975,” Mr Cooper said.
“Newmont enjoys a strong relationship with the people of Boddington and sees this tour as a key contributor to creating value and improving lives in the community in which Newmont operates.”
Perth Mint Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayes said the close proximity of Australia’s largest gold mine, less than a two hour drive from central Perth, provided the unique opportunity to combine the attractions of the Boddington mine and the Mint’s gold exhibition.
“There are many fascinating things to see during the tour of the mine, but for security reasons, unfortunately gold is not one of them,” Mr Hayes said.
“Mine to Mint will be a success as it will give the public the chance to experience the magic, allure and wonder of pure gold.”