For the first time in the event’s 160-year history, the thriving Fosterville Gold Mine in the state’s north has produced the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup, marking the first time the gold for the Cup has come from Victoria.
From the mining and refining of the gold to the spinners and goldsmiths involved in its final construction, the famous trophy was produced locally from start to finish, taking over 250 hours.
The Cup was made with 18-carat gold and is estimated to be worth over $200,000.
The news comes in the wake of a recent boom in Victoria’s goldfields in Ballarat, Bendigo and Stawell, fuelled by global high prices for the commodity and increasingly productive mining methods.
Recent data shows that in 2018-19, Victorian gold production was up by about 55 per cent from the previous year, reaching a level not seen in more than a century.
The growth in minerals exploration spending in Victoria over recent years is outpacing other states and increasing year on year.
The Fosterville Gold Mine – 20kms from Bendigo – is the largest gold producing mine in the state and a significant contributor to the local economy, employing more than 600 local people and supporting a range of supply businesses.
The mine is on track to produce more than 610,000 ounces of gold for the second consecutive year, after reaching a record of 619,366 in 2019.
In the week leading up to the race that stops a nation, the Cup returned to Fosterville and Bendigo during the Australia-wide Melbourne Cup Tour, marking its final stop before heading to Melbourne in time for the big day.