It’s certainly been a busy year at the Perth Mints bullion division. We’re only half way through 2019 and with the core issues yet to come, but we’ve seen a huge selection of new designs appearing worldwide. From superheroes to wildlife, they seem to have most bases covered. Earlier this year they released the first Australian Nugget coin, the Welcome Stranger. It wasn’t a favourite of ours as a lump of rock doesn’t make for a particularly exciting coin design, but it was a new direction for the mint and the coin we’re looking at here is in a similar vein, no pun intended.
Around 3.5 kilometres in width, 1.5 kilometres in width and in excess of 600 metres in depth, the Fimiston Open Pit (the Super Pit)was, until 2016, the largest open cut gold mine in Australia. Last year alone, a staggering 19.5 tonnes (628,000 t.oz) of gold was removed, of Australia’s total production of 317 tonnes. Run by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd, they mine gold from ore lodes in the Golden mile Dolerite using conventional drill and blast techniques. To get that near 20 tonne quantity of gold, some 15 million tonnes of rock are moved annually.
An unusual subject for a coin, it’s nevertheless an appropriate one and the Lucas Bowers design looks pretty good from these images. It’s an impressive view of the Super Pit and a much better design than the Welcome Stranger nugget in our view. Two formats are on offer, both a troy ounce in weight. The 0.9999 gold coin has a 15,000 mintage, and the 0.9999 silver coin tops out at a relatively large 100,000. For comparison, the nugget issue hit just 7,500 and 30,000 respectively. The obverse features the new international version of Jody Clark’s effigy of QEII. Available to order now.