Jobs on the line as rout starts to hit home

Amid the rout in gold prices, many were left struggling to explain why.

Amid the rout in gold prices, many were left struggling to explain why.

But for miners scattered around Australia's famous goldmining town of Kalgoorlie, the fall means that changes are coming to the industry.

Ashok Parekh (above), the chairman of MacPhersons Resources and A1 Consolidated Gold, said the sudden drop means many will now have to reassess their operations, particularly when it comes to labour costs.

"This drop in the gold price is not the Australian, it is a global market. But when that happens you all have to look at your costs. When your costs are too high you have a problem unless these costs can be reduced by cutting," Mr Parekh said.

But the sudden change could lead to a significant drop in employment in the goldmining sectors, particularly for companies with higher-cost operations, he said.

This could have a negative effect on employment in towns that depended on the mining industry, such as Kalgoorlie, he said.

Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia's Goldfields region, is home to the "Super Pit", one of the richest veins of gold in the world.

But the proprietor of Kalgoorlie's Recreation Hotel and local councillor, Laurie Ayers, said the town of 28,000 was no longer closely tied to gold prices.

"The process of goldmining is not as important as the exploration surrounding it," Mr Ayers said. "[And] it has to drop back a lot to stop the prospectors."

Mr Ayers said Kalgoorlie would not be as badly affected by changes in the goldmining industry as it would have been three decades ago. This was because more minerals had been found and the town had thriving tourism.

A movie staring Ewan McGregor would start filming in town in a few months, with the crew from another multimillion-dollar film due next year, he said.

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