There’s nowhere quite like Kalgoorlie anywhere in the world. WA’s city of gold’s reputation might have been tarnished on occasion, thanks to the vagaries of mining’s notorious boom and bust cycles and economic forces. But the fact remains, it’s a city and a region that bounces back stronger every time, and right now there is great opportunities for anyone willing to give it a go in the mighty Kal.
If you want proof, you just need to ask one of our recent guests on the Full Production podcast – Ashok Parekh. Ashok is one those archetype Kalgoorlie success stories – arriving in the city as a penniless young man, only to find himself building a life there and becoming one of Kalgoorlie’s most prominent and respected business people. Today, he’s the owner of a large accountancy practice, he’s Chairman of the publicly listed company, McPherson’s Resources, and and owns a couple of Kalgoorlie’s hotels besides.
If anyone knows what the future holds for Kalgoorlie, it’s Ashok.
The City Gold, Nickel … And Now Lithium
When you’re thinking opportunities, few regions have the advantages of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder gold fields region.
As Ashok will tell you, “in Kalgoorlie you’re in one of the best gold regions in the world.” But there’s more to it than that.
“These companies around here are finding more and more gold. I can tell you in a hundred years they’re still going to be finding gold. There’s a lot of gold in Kalgoorlie,” Ashok explains. “You’re going to see a big situation in the next 12 months with companies merging, getting together to do better things.”
But gold is just one facet of the region’s mineral wealth. “The commodity price of gold is good. Nickel is good. Now we’ve got lithium locally. We’re going to have a lithium plant here with Neometals and Mineral Resources. So, I mean, everything is looking good,” Ashok says.
Great People Make A Great Community
Born in Dublin, before moving to England as a young man, and then on to Perth with his father, before Kalgoorlie, Ashok’s got a good sense of people. And even after 34 years, he’s full of praise for the Kalgoorlie locals.
“In Kal you meet the nicest people in the world. People here do not care who you are, what you do, how much you make. They open their hearts and they open their doors,” Ashok says.
Ashok has similar feeling about the mining industry and the people who work in it. It’s the team atmosphere that gives that sense of inclusion, in the industry and the community. “That’s what I like about the mining industry. Everybody is in it together. You’re a team. It’s not individuals. You’re a team. That’s who you are. You’re part of the team,” Ashok says.
Go West Young Man (And Woman)
As Ashok tells it, if you’re looking for opportunity and a place to raise a family, Kalgoorlie is definitely worth considering.
“Look, Kalgoorlie to me is a fantastic place to live. We’ve got the situation here that there’s one to two thousand vacant jobs in Kalgoorlie,” Ashok says. “We want people to come here and work. It’s a great environment.”
The low cost of housing is another great draw card. “The average house price here is only 350 grand,” Ashok says. You can also rent a place for $350 a week.
But it goes beyond simply inexpensive housing, as Ashok explains. “From the point of view of affordability, Kalgoorlie is a great place to live. We’ve got good schools, as well as good medical and public facilities,” he says. But ultimately it’s the people that make it. “There are great people here, and everybody makes it better for everybody else.”
You can hear the full conversation with Ashok Parekh here.