Based on work by industry consultant Surbiton, the Australian gold industry is churning out about 9.2 million ounces of the yellow stuff on an annualised basis.
So when the Australian dollar gold price falls by $115 an ounce in the space of a month, as it has, it is bound to hurt. Over a full year it would represent a $1 billion revenue hit.
Investors have acted accordingly. After being the shining light in a mining market that can’t wait for 2015 to be over, gold equities have fallen about 20 per cent in the past month.