Mining in Australia is a significant primary industry and contributor to theAustralian economy.A number of large multinational mining companies including
BHP Billiton,Newcrest, Rio Tinto, Alcoa, Chalco, Shenhua (a Chinese mining company), Alcanand Xstrata operate in Australia
. There are also a lot of small mining and mineralexploration companies listed on the
Australian Stock Exchange
(ASX). Overall, theresources sector represents almost 20% of the ASX market by capitalisation, andalmost one third of the companieslisted.the mining sector employs only a smallproportion of the workforce - roughly 129,000 Australians, representing onlyabout 1.3% of the total labour force
Barrick Gold, Goldcorp, AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining Corporationare the world's four largest gold mining companies.
Almost 50% of the world's gold reserves are found in South Africa.Among thenation's gold mines are two of the deepest mines in the world. The East RandMine, in Boksburg, extends to a depth of 3,585 metres (11,762 ft). A 4-metre(13 ft) shallower mine is located at TauTona in Carletonville, though plans are inplace to begin work on an extension to the TauTona mine, bringing the totaldepth to over 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) and breaking the current record by127 feet (39 m).
At these depths the temperature of the rocks is 140 °F (60 °C)
produced 1.46 million ounces of gold, making it one of the worldslargest gold mining companies. The groups operations are located primarily onthe Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa, with a highly prospective explorationportfolio and open-pit mining operation in Papua New Guinea