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Barrick Gold Corp., the world's largest gold producer, said supply will fall faster than expected as it gets harder to extract the precious metal from deeper and older mines.


``Global mine supply is going to fall at a much faster rate than people generally believe,'' Chief Executive Officer Greg Wilkins said today at a conference in London organized by RBC Capital Markets. ``Many of the mines that people are anticipating bringing into production will either not come into production or will be on a much longer timeframe.''


The global output is on a relentless slide. "We'll see four-digit gold. It will have to reach $US2500 an ounce to equal the 1980 record in today's terms, so we have a long way to go."


Gold mining companies are trying to boost output after bullion climbed to within 0.5 percent of a record last week. Strikes, stoppages and the difficulties of mining farther underground are hampering operations in South Africa, the world's largest producer. Demand is rising as consumption increases in China, India and the Middle East, RBC Capital Markets said yesterday.


Mining production costs have increased so much that if prices were to fall, many mines may become unprofitable, Wilkins said.


``The cost structure of the industry has substantially changed and if we were to see a return to a $500 gold price, I think the industry will be in serious trouble,''


Zdroj: www.topix.com

17.11.2007

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value."   Alan Greenspan