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Why is Australian Gold Production Declining?

Many commentators believe that Australia's gold industry hasn't recovered from the sell off of our gold reserve instigated by the then Federal Govt. treasurer Peter Costello, who engineered the sale of two thirds of the reserve bank's gold reserve for around US$330 per oz in 1997. What seemed to enrage most commentators was Peter Costello's argument that: "gold no longer played a significant role in the international financial system" while others believe that Peter Costello's and the RBA's actions were financially unwise and resulted in a loss of around $5 billion.

According to the then Gold Mining Industry maven Ed Eshuys:

"The issue was that Australia was the third largest gold producer at the time and for the Australian government to sell out its gold holdings, particularly in that climate, gave all the gold buyers some food for thought," he said.
  
"I don’t know if it precipitated it or it was a catalyst, but the gold price kept falling from then on. (The comments) certainly didn’t help.
  
"Exploration stopped after that — 1997 was the peak for exploration and after that it declined." Read more

Australian gold production in decline
http://www.goldsheetlinks.com/production.htm

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