Archive for February, 2013

WHO WERE THE TOP GOLD PRODUCERS IN THE YEAR 2012

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

TOP 10 GOLD PRODUCING COMPANIES WORLD WIDE IN THE YEAR 2012

Figure 1. Provisional attributable gold production by 10 leading companies in 2011/2012, Moz of gold except Gold Fields and Kinross, where Moz of equivalent gold used (data and expectations retrieved from corporate reports).

With 7.42 Moz of gold produced in 2012, Canadian Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) holds first place in global ranking, well ahead of its pursuers. Compared to 2011, Barrick’s gold output declined by 3.4% because of production decreases in all regions of its presence except North America. However, Barrick Gold achieved its production target for 2012.

The US-based Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) ranks second in the global gold competition and produced about 4.98 Moz of the precious metal in 2012, a 4% decline on 2011 (5.19 Moz), due to a dramatic decrease of gold output at the Batu Hijau mine (-79%) and significant declines at Newmont’s other Asia Pacific operations (-6%).

For third-ranked AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU), 2012 was a difficult production year due to safety stoppages and strikes at its South African operations. The company expected to produce roughly 4.16 Moz of gold in 2012, or 3% less than in 2011 (4.30 Moz).

Another South African company, Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI), currently ranked fourth, expected to produce 3.3 Moz of gold equivalent in 2012, or 6% lower than in 2011 (3.5 Moz). This decline is mainly due to a fire at Ya Rona shaft (formerly Driefontein 4 shaft), illegal strike action at KDC East and West, and a slightly lower grade mined at South Deep.

Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation (TSE:K), fifth in world gold production rankings, produced 2.62 Moz of gold equivalent in 2012. This volume exceeded the Kinross’ guidance of 2.5-2.6 Moz of gold equivalent and is 3% higher than 2011 production totals (2.54 Moz of gold equivalent).

In the first nine months of 2012, Kinross saw a scheduled decline in grades at Kupol project and increased planned reliance on lower-grade stockpile ore at La Coipa mine. The full-year increase was primarily due to stronger production at Fort Knox.

Sixth-ranked Goldcorp Inc. (TSE:G) produced 2.39 Moz of gold in 2012, or 4.8% less than in 2011 (2.51 Moz). This decline was due to lower grades at Red Lake mines (Canada), lower grades and lower recovery at Porcupine mines (Canada), lower grades and lower tonnage processed at El Sauzal mine (Mexico), as well as lower grades at Marlin mine, Guatemala.

Seventh in the ratings, Australian Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM), produced approximately 2.07 Moz of gold in 2012 calendar year, a 14% decline on 2011 (2.42 Moz). The main reasons of such a significant decrease are, as follows: lower feed grades and volumes of ore mined at Cadia Valley Project (New South Wales, Aus.), production interruption at Lihir Mine (Papua New Guinea), lower mill throughput at Telfer Mine (Western Aus.), as well as the combination of planned lower grades and unexpected poor ground conditions at Gosowong Mine in Indonesia.

At eighth place in the global gold race, Russian origin Polyus Gold International (LON: PGIL) was the only company among the 10 largest gold corporate producers that demonstrated a significant increase in gold output within the last year. In 2012, it produced around 1.68 Moz of gold, that is 12% higher than in 2011 (1.50 Moz).

Polyus officially announced that “the record double-digit growth rate achieved in 2012 came as a result of continued investment and optimization of our mines, delivering significant increases in production at all of our Russian operations, with an exceptional performance delivered by our largest mines, Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye, and steady improvements at Kuranakh”.

South African Harmony Gold Mining Co. (NYSE:HMY) holds ninth place, and produced around 1.22 Moz of gold in 2012, an 8% decrease compared to 2011 (1.32 Moz).

Peruvian Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN) sits in tenth place with expected attributable gold production of 1.06 Moz, which is slightly higher (+2%) than in 2011 (1.04 Moz).

Canadian Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI) overtook Buenaventura by the volume of gold equivalent ounces produced in 2012 (1.2 Moz, +9% growth on 2011), but a little behind the Peruvian company when considering output of gold ounces (1.03 Moz).

Looking for 2013 forecasts, world gold production will likely be higher compared to 2012 as most of the companies plan to increase their gold output.

In any case, given the significant unpredictability of the gold mining industry, surprises can be expected during the year.

Note: For corporate attributable gold production, figures used are from actual official data or companies’ expectations for the 2012 calendar year. Wherever possible, calculated gold ounces are quoted instead of gold equivalent ounces. Only two companies out of ten (Gold Fields and Kinross) did not provide breakdowns for gold ounces produced.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


TOP 40+ WEALTHIEST MINING BILLIONAIRES OF THE WORLD

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The meek shall inherit the earth,

but not its mineral rights:

Meet mining’s 40 richest billionaires

Frik Els | April 16, 2012

Billionaire_collage copy

MINING.com counts more than 90 billionaires involved in minerals, metals and mining on the planet with a combined wealth of well over $300 billion.




Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CHINA IS TO BUY 6,000 TONNES OF GOLD IT IS SAID

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

PERHAPS THIS IS NOT SO CRAZY AFTER ALL IT SEEMS

GOLD SUPPLY OUTSTRIPS CHINESE DEMAND


Hedge fund gurus George Soros and John Paulson and central banks around the world are jumping back into the bullion market.

At MarketWatch, Myra P. Saefong, speaks to Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International, Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter and Mark O’Byrne, executive director at GoldCore about “unconfirmed speculation” that China – the world’s number one producer and second-placed consumer (at the moment) – is gearing up to buy up to at least 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes starting before the end of the year.

There is also “the potential for greater demand from unreported purchases by the People’s Bank of China, should they decide to again report an increase in their gold holdings,” [O’Byrne] said.

[Kerr said] “If China buys this much gold, that would exceed annual, global production of gold, he said. “We do not have enough gold for China to buy that much, and it will take China time to purchase this amount of gold.”

“There’s a significant discrepancy between domestic gold demand in China and the level of Chinese gold imports and production, and apparently this gap is being made up by central bank gold purchases,” said Lundin.

“We will know in time, but the bottom line is that China is … consuming an ever-growing portion of global gold production,” he said. “This forms a floor under the gold price, which is why the most pessimistic assumption of downside targets in gold corrections have always been far off the market.”

Global gold mine production has averaged roughly 2,600 tonnes per year over the past five years, according to the World Gold Council.

Central banks went from net sellers to net buyers during 2009 while recycled gold supply has declined over the same period to constitute around a 1,000 tonnes or less than a third of annual supply.

China produced 380 tonnes of gold during 2011 – over a 100 tonnes more than its nearest rival. The country is preparing to launch direct interbank gold trading – a banned activity at present – at the end of August as part of a broader set of banking reforms.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

THE YEAR THAT WAS 2012 IN MINING WORLD WIDE

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

RECAPPING ON MINING EVENTS FOR THE YEAR THAT WAS 2012

2012 will go down as the year when the wind fell out of the sails of economic recovery and serious financial storms rocked the boat of major miners, throwing a few CEOs overboard in the process.

Cynthia Carroll (Anglo American), Aaron Regent (Barrick Gold), Robert Friedland (Ivanhoe), Marcelo Awad (Antofagasta Minerals) and Diego Hernandez (Codelco) were only some of the executives who left their companies, either because they chose to or because of shareholders pressure.

Miners, big and small, reported lower than expected profit and decided to re-evaluate projects, resulting in scaling back expansions and shelving of major projects.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), for instance, scuppered its original Olympic Dam expansion plans in August after determining the project to be uneconomic. And other giants, such as Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Xstrata (LON:XTA) and Vale (NYSE:VALE) cut jobs worldwide, especially at coal operations in Australia.

But after Google’s billionaire co-founders and filmmaker James Cameron launched their asteroid mining company, Planetary resources, space exploration became the most popular topic of the year, as our list of MINING.com’s top stories of 2012 shows:

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

GOLDEN DAYS OF THE RUSSIAN BEAR ON THE HORIZON

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

RUSSIA ON TRACK TO BECOMING #3 IN WORLD GOLD PRODUCTION

If gold prices remain relatively high over the next two years, Russia could become the world’s number three gold miner by 2015, according to Sergei Kashuba of the Russian Gold Industrialists Union.

Russia recently became the world’s number one buyer of gold but production, too, is forecast to rise.

Only South Africa is home to more gold reserves than Russia. And if Russian gold output reaches the expected growth level of 4-5% per year, Russia would surpass Australia, China and the USA in total production.

Like all domestic gold sectors, however, Russian gold miners are facing declining prices (as investors’ appetite for riskier assets increase) and an increasing prospect of market consolidation in the coming decade.

Speculation about a merger between Russian metals giants Polyus and Polymetal has garnered significant attention in recent weeks but seems to have cooled off, for now.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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