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New South Wales is the second most prolific source of gold by production out of all Australia’s states, only coming behind Western Australia.

Despite its high population, industrial base and agricultural clout, the Australian state of New South Wales depends heavily on mineral exports, with commodities currently rounding out the top three sources of export income for the state.

While its largest mineral export is coal, the state has a long history with gold, being the home of the first Australian gold rush in the mid-1800s that helped kickstart the then-colony’s burgeoning economy. Gold found in Central New South Wales triggered an obsession with mining that burned for decades.

There are 13 mines within the state that produce gold, with New South Wales accounting for some 16 percent of Australia’s economic demonstrated resources of gold. The state is also the second most prolific source of gold by production out of all Australian states, only coming behind Western Australia — though it’s a long way behind, producing 36 tonnes of the yellow metal in 2020-21 compared to Western Australia’s 218 tonnes in the same year.

While New South Wales (NSW) is ranked by the Fraser Institute as the second-to-last Australian jurisdiction for investment attractiveness, the research firm puts it significantly ahead of famed global gold-mining jurisdiction Burkina Faso. As part of the reasoning for NSW"s placement, the Fraser Institute commented that there was “too much red tape … during the permitting approval process.” On top of that, New South Wales is home to Cowal, one of the largest Australian gold mines outside of Western Australia. It is located right in the middle of where the gold rushes took place well over a century ago.

Notably, the state has the attention of both Australian and non-Australian operators, with Cowal having been owned by gold-mining giant Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) until 2015.

With the state's capital Sydney being the home of the Australian Securities Exchange, NSW explorers, developers and operators that are listed on the premier Oceanic exchange don’t have to go far from site to stock exchange.

Read on to find out about the top five New South Wales-focused gold companies by market cap. Data for this article was gathered on June 6, 2022, from TradingView's stock screener.

1. Newcrest Mining

Market cap: AU$21.75 billion

The largest gold operator with assets in the state, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) is the owner of the Cadia operations in Central New South Wales.

The Cadia operations are huge — Australia’s largest underground gold mine — with the mine producing 764,895 ounces of gold in the financial year ending in June of 2021. As of December 2021, the mine has been approved for expansion. Newcrest also owns mines in Canada, Papua New Guinea and Western Australia.

2. Evolution Mining

Market cap: AU$6.78 billion

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) is the owner and operator of the Cowal gold mine, one of the largest gold mines in Australia. Located some 350 kilometers from Sydney, Cowal produced over 210,000 ounces of gold in the 2021 financial year, making it Evolution Mining’s largest asset, accounting for roughly a third of the company’s gold output from five producing mines in Australia and Canada.

Cowal is an open-pit mine, and the company has plans to open up underground development in the near future with hopes the mine will eventually crack 300,000 ounces per year.

3. Alkane Resources

Market cap: AU$601.5 million

Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) is the operator of the Tomingley gold mine in Central New South Wales.

Operations at the Tomingley site have shifted from open cut to underground in recent years since production began in 2014, with the mine producing between 60,000 and 80,000 ounces of gold per year since it switched to underground in 2019.

Besides exploration works around Tomingley, the company has a number of other exploration projects on the go — mostly within New South Wales and mostly focused on gold.

4. Aurelia Metals

Market cap: AU$396.13 million

Aurelia Metals (ASX:AMI) acquired the Peak mine from Canadian company New Gold (TSX:NGD,NYSEAMERICAN:NGD) in 2018, with the mine producing almost 60,000 ounces of gold in the 2019 financial year. The Peak mine also produces not-insignificant quantities of base metals, such as copper, lead and zinc. Located in a historical mining region and near population centres, the Peak mine is one of two gold mines operated by Aurelia.

Hera, the company’s other mine, is also in New South Wales. It is located near the town of Cobar, which is known for copper mining. Hera was purchased as an undeveloped project in 2009, and Aurelia has turned it into a 58,000 ounce per year operation in the time since. Hera also produces lead and zinc.

5. Aeris Resources

Market cap: AU$282.27 million

Aeris Resources' (ASX:AIS) Tritton mine, located in New South Wales, is primarily used for copper, but that doesn’t mean its gold production isn’t robust. Aeris Resources also owns the Cracow gold operations in Queensland.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2020.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Ryan Sero, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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