Is cash still king? Investors in a junior Australian miner may soon have to decide.
The ASX-listed Resolute Mining said shareholders who hold 5,000 or more Resolute shares can opt to receive their dividend payment in gold through a personal account held with the government guaranteed Perth Mint.
Resolute's managing director and CEO, John Welborn, said in a statement the company's strong performance allowed for the adoption of the unique dividend policy.
"Resolute's new gold sales-linked dividend policy rewards our shareholders by providing a sustainable income stream that allows direct participation in our ongoing production success," said Welborn.
Resolute, which operates gold mines in Australia and Africa, announced on Tuesday it will pay a final dividend of 1.7 Australian cents (1.28 cents) per share for fiscal 2016.
It will pay out a total of A$11.1 million in dividends, which amounts to 2 percent of the gold miner's fiscal 2016 gold sales revenue of A$555 million. As of June 30, 2016, Resolute had A$102 million in cash and bullion.
Shareholders can still choose to receive their dividend in cash if they choose to. Resolute's move also comes at a time global interest rates have fallen sharply and bond yields have plunged, reducing the opportunity cost of holding gold, which doesn't offer a yield.
Gold prices have had a stellar 2015, with spot gold up 24.7 percent year-to-date and trading at $1,320.01 an ounce on Tuesday afternoon Asia time.
Concurrently, the U.S. dollar has been relatively weaker against a basket of currencies this year, compared to levels near 100 in late-2015. On Tuesday, the dollar index traded at 95.772 as of 3:08 p.m. HK/SIN. As gold prices are denominated in dollars, weakness in the greenback has also boosted demand.
The uptick in gold prices in a volatile market environment has given gold miners Down Under a big boost, with the executive chairman of Evolution Mining telling CNBC earlier this month it was a great time to be an Australian gold miner.