By Anthony Hall Record gold sales in Australia look set to bring on a minor boom in work for the industries that support it. This year, gold sales have broken the 200 tonne mark for the first time since 2001. Yvonne Dickson is the Managing Director of SGS Australia, a globally recognised geochemical testing and verification company. She believes activity in the sector isn’t quite at boom time levels, but it is on the rise.“We are experiencing increasing demand from the Gold miners as the price of Gold and other associated minerals still remains strong,” Dickson says. The company plans to install autonomous robotics systems into their Newburn laboratory in the hope of heading off labour costs before production increases. “We are doing this for a few reasons, these being a lack of reliable manpower, and the fact that as the demand for labour returns the ability to have a reliable and cost effective workforce will decrease,” Dickson says. Martin Saunders is the Owner of Independent Laboratory Supplies which services and constructs a variety of on-site testing laboratories across Western Australia. He says the growth of the gold exploration market in the last two years has helped his sales. “As we are more tied to the laboratories moving dirt and analysing it, we’re affected indirectly, but because they get more work we get more work as well,” Saunders says. Having almost doubled output since last year Saunders hopes to expand his business as the gold sector grows so as not to incur excess labour costs. “Were probably 40 to 50 percent up on this time last year, so we’ve admitted that the company is going to start getting bigger and coming with that is more people,” he says. His company aims to set up five new gold exploration laboratories by the end of the year.