The Australian chief of the world's third-biggest gold miner has joined the chorus complaining about WA's high-cost resources industry, admitting it had to source goods in China to help keep the costs of its Tropicana project down.
Graham Ehm, the executive vice-president of AngloGold Ashanti's Australasian division, made the comments in the Chamber of Minerals and Energy's latest quarterly update.
He said that securing quality construction workers amid a tight labour market had been the biggest challenge for the $740 million mine north-east of Kalgoorlie, but it remained on budget and schedule.
As the local content debate continues to simmer in WA, Mr Ehm said scarce resources in WA had forced it to look overseas for some of its manufactured goods, although this had produced its own problems.
"Some offshore fabrication was done in China and the Philippines which presented challenges in terms of quality and delivery," he said.
The first gold pour at Tropicana, one of the biggest mines in Australia in years, is expected late this year. AngloGold this month lost its global chief Mark Cutifani with his appointment as Anglo American's chief executive.Mr Ehm repeated AngloGold's assertion that the carbon tax would add $20 per tonne to its costs of mining gold.