One of Australia’s golden boys, Evolution Mining’s Executive Chairman Jake Klein, told a packed forum at Energy Mines and Money conference today that opportunities for mining companies couldn’t be better in Australia.
Citing a favourable investment profile, supportive government and an abundance of natural resources, Klein put it to the audience that Australia outrivalled other regions as an attractive destination for mining investment.
“The Australian gold industry stacks up against its global peers. Australia is God’s gift to miners – it is mining friendly,” he said.
“Half of our production comes from Queensland, it is a great place to mine.”
Klein has a history of counter-cyclical investments via both acquisitions and exploration.
“I encourage peers to invest in the down cycle. Currently boards and management teams become paralysed when times are difficult,” he said.
By following this strategy, he has successfully established a suite of six quality, Australian-based owner-operated assets, as well as an economic interest in Glencore’s Ernest Henry operation.
When asked if he would consider further investment opportunities outside Evolution’s current asset base, he said the miner was currently focused on creating efficiencies from the existing operations.
“You can make good money from investing in gold, the challenge is not diluting your returns by pursuing growth for growth’s sake. It has been tried and tested and largely failed.
“Mining isn’t always a scaleable industry. It’s hard to create synergies across operations located in different parts of the world.
“Size does not matter – quality ounces do. I want to be disciplined across six straight assets,” he said.
When talking about his portfolio in Australia, he said Evolution favoured operating assets located in Australia but that he “could handle one additional jurisdiction.”