A new breed of Australian gold miners has engineered an renaissance that is winning the world’s attention. When Joe Foster cleared customs at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport in February, it was the first time in 15 years that an Australian immigration stamp had adorned his passport.
Life as the world’s biggest active gold investor is busy, and despite producing more gold than all nations except China, Australia had simply not warranted his attention since the turn of the millennium.
“There weren’t enough gold companies in Australia to justify a trip and the expense of going all the way down there,” says Foster, who runs several gold funds for New York investment giant Van Eck.
“Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the South Africans and North Americans took out all the Australian mid-tier and senior companies and there really wasn’t much left of interest.”
But his interest has been revived. Foster has come to Australia to witness first hand the extraordinary renaissance of a 165-year-old industry which has taken place in the past three years.
The Australian gold scene was about as fashionable as a hypercolour T-shirt in the winter of 2013.
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