Gold Demand Up Down Under

March 22nd, 2016 by

gold-barsAustralia’s Perth Mint has announced the best half-year performance in its 117-year history. Profits during that period were nearly triple that of all of fiscal year 2014/2015. Pre-tax profit for the six months ending December 31 was $24.9 million, on revenues of $4.4 billion (AUD).

Major factors for the stunning results included an insatiable appetite for poured gold bars by China, and strong gold and silver coin sales in the US and Germany.

Global economic uncertainty was the largest driver of Perth Mint gold sales.

Australia’s only government bullion mint, the Perth Mint refines Australian gold ore to make its bars and coins, as well as refining third-party ore. That refining operation processed over 150 metric tons of gold and 300 metric tons of silver in the last half of 2015.

perth mint silver kangaroo reversePerth Mint silver sales saw a boost from the introduction of the nation’s first “four nines” silver bullion coin, the Silver Kangaroo. Demand was so great, the Perth Mint hit its annual mintage goal of 5 million coins in just three months. The .9999 fine Silver Kangaroo sports a new authentication feature on the reverse—a micro-engraved “A” in the first A of “AUSTRALIAN.”  This clever security feature is only visible under magnification.

Another noteworthy feature of the Silver Kangaroo coin is its striking design. This image is reminiscent of the Red Kangaroo depiction found on the nation’s original gold bullion coin series, the Gold Nugget. It shows the recognizable marsupial hopping toward the left. In the background, an eye-appealing sunburst is shown.

In addition, the outer border around the rim of the coin uses an interesting wave pattern as the backdrop for the inscriptions. The same wave pattern appears around the rim of the obverse design, as well.

According to Neil Vance, the Perth Mint’s Acting General Manager of Marketing, “We are confident that the Silver Kangaroo will help us double our market share in the United States, Europe, and globally, as it is issued with an unlimited mintage and is only available for purchase in large quantities.”

The mint’s Silver Kookaburra, Silver Koala, and Chinese Lunar Calendar series gold and silver coins also remain very popular.

the perth mintAnother big profit stream for the Perth Mint has been its precious metals storage program. As the world’s only government-backed precious metals investment vault, holdings in the Perth Mint Depository totaled over $2.5 billion, divided into 40 metric tons of gold and 100 metric tons of silver.

The Perth Mint has been under new management since July 1st, 2015. It has realized $5.5 million in savings from restructuring and a more efficient procurement process.

(Perth Mint press release)

The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product