b'Canberra observed Canberra observedKeith Pitt was sworn in as Minister forstrand to the economy with fabrication, Resources, Water and Northern Australiareprocessing, mining and exporting of in February this year to replace Matturanium.Canavan, who quit Cabinet to supportHe has called for: An expansion of Barnaby Joyces bid to lead the Nationals.Australias coal seam gas industry, Pitt was promoted from the back benchincluding the Santos project in north-straight into cabinet. He is based inwest New South Wales and more Bundaberg and has represented theexploration of carbon capture and seat of Hinkler since 2013, where hestorage, even though CCS has not represents the Liberal National Party ofbeen commercially viable despite Queensland. He graduated in computingyears of development. He said he was and electrical engineering and, beforefirmly technology-neutral when it David Denham AMentering parliament, owned two sugarcame to power generation, but coal Associate Editor for Governmentcane farms. will continue to be an important part denham1@iinet.net.au Previously, in the parliament, he wasof not only the economy, but what assistant minister for trade, tourismhappens in regional areas for a long Keith Pitt replaces Mattand investment and quit in Augusttime to come.2018 in opposition to the governments Canavan as Resourcescommitment to reducing emissions byHow he manages the water part of his portfolio will be of interest. South Minister 26-28 per cent by 2030 under the ParisAustralian Centre Alliance senator Rex accord. He has consistently arguedPatrick said: Its good that the new water for nuclear power and has been anminister Keith Pitts electorate is outside opponent of global action on climatethe Murray-Darling Basin, it must be change. managed in the national interest, not just On nuclear power he stated: the interests of large upstream irrigators. Australia is one of the few developedAnd South Australian Greens senator nations which is not using nuclear as anSarah Hanson-Young tweeted: Another energy source, yet we mine uranium hereQueensland Nationals politician given and send it overseas. Its not just aboutthe job of Water Minister. RIP the Murray-looking at whether nuclear could be anDarling Basin.affordable, reliable power source withHe has a very important challenge, lets virtually no emissions, it could be a newsee what happens.Gold miners benefit from economic uncertainty2019 was a very good year for Australian10 weeks of 2020 the price of goldDecember 2019, to A$2550 in mid-March gold producers. According to the mediarose, on average, from about A$2150 inat the time of writing. An increase of release from Surbiton Associates, the December quarter produced a record quarterly output of 87 tonnes. If you add this to the production numbers published by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science for the first three quarters of 2019(79, 83 and 78 tonnes), you get a record annual 327 tonnes. The previous best was the 312 tonnes in 2018 (https://publications.industry.gov.au/ publications/resourcesandenergy quarterlydecember2019/index.html).The top three producers were Newcrests Cadia mine in NSW, at 24.7 tonnes, followed by Newmonts Boddington in WA at 19.9 tonnes and Kirkland Lake Golds Fosterville in Victoria at 17.6 tonnes.The COVID-19 infection caused huge economic and social volatilityFigure 1.Daily gold price in A$ from 1 December 2019 -13 March 2020 from https://www.abcbullion.com.throughout the world and in the firstau/products-pricing/gold.APRIL 2020 PREVIEW 28'