Last week saw the arrival of the 2016 Melbourne Cup to the Cowal Gold Operation near West Wyalong, where the gold used to make the cup is produced.

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts acknowledged its arrival at Cowal and West Wyalong, part of an Australia and New Zealand tour arranged by the Victoria Racing Club.

“Today’s event has special significance because, for the first time in the Melbourne Cup’s 150-year history, the trophy itself uses gold that has been mined, refined and crafted wholly in Australia, and NSW in particular,” Mr Roberts said.

“The gold originated from Evolution Mining’s Cowal Gold Operation and was refined at ABC Bullion’s refinery in the inner Sydney suburb of Marrickville, giving a strong NSW link to this premier horse racing event.”

The trophy, valued at $175,000, is made from 18-carat gold, weighs 1.65 kilograms and contains 44 pieces that are hand spun over a 250-hour production process.

“In 2014-15, NSW accounted for 12 per cent of Australia’s gold production, bringing more than $48m to our state revenue and at this year’s Melbourne Cup Day, gold from NSW soil will hold a place of honour in the winner’s hands. Our state is the second largest gold producer in the nation.”

Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said: “Evolution is proud to be involved in producing the 2016 Melbourne Cup and we would like to thank the Bland Shire Council and the Victoria Racing Club for bringing this event to West Wyalong and giving us the opportunity to share this historic cup with our employees and the whole community.”

Evolution’s Cowal Gold Operation employs 257 people and contributed more than $10m to the Bland Shire economy through local procurement in 2015.