In late July, Western Australia’s Perth Mint announced something a little different for gold coin collectors: “Mine to Mint” tours. The new enterprise is being undertaken in conjunction with Go West Tours of Newmont, Australia.
Australia is the world’s second largest gold producer, with 70 percent of that production coming from Western Australian mines. Visitors booking the fully guided tour will be taken by luxury coach to the nation’s largest operating gold mine: the massive Newmont Boddington Mine, 130 kilometers southeast of Perth.
There, they will be issued high-visibility vests, hard hats and safety glasses to view trucks loading up with gold-bearing ore from the giant South Pit. Next stop is the processing plant, where the ore is crushed and copper and gold extracted.
The coach then heads to the Boddington town site for lunch, followed by gold panning by the Hotham River. Afterward, it is back to Perth to see Australia’s oldest working mint.
Here the guests get to admire the largest gold coin in the world ($1,000,000, 1 tonne .9999 fine), the second biggest natural nugget known, and the minting of precious metal coins. From there, patrons can enter the Mint’s original melt house and watch molten gold being poured to form a solid gold bar, then take a walk inside the 1899 vault to handle more than $500,000 worth of gold bullion.
The tour is the first of its kind in Australia. As Perth Mint CEO Richard Hayes points out, the close proximity of Australia’s largest gold mine, less than a two-hour drive from Perth, provides a unique opportunity to combine the attractions of the Boddington mine and the Mint’s gold exhibition.
The tour is priced at A$145 for adults and A$115 for seniors and children. That price includes morning tea and lunch.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
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