The jump in gold up to $ 1,000 an ounce offered a timely stay a mining industry margins eroded by rising production costs. 222 Dollars an ounce in the third quarter of 2003, total cash costs average soared to 401 dollars in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 81. At the same time, the average price of spot gold rose from 387,30 to 743,70 dollars an ounce ( 92).
But the profitability of the gold business straightened in the second half of 2007. Progressions the cash total cost and the course of gold between the third quarter of 2003 and 2007 second-quarter cash out 76.7 (222 to 392 dollars an ounce on average quarterly) and 68.1 (from $ 222 to 650,9).
In other words, the threshold beyond which the growth of the profitability of the mine is was in the second half of 2007, priced cash for gold around $ 700 an ounce.
In the fourth quarter, the trend towards the restoration of the margins is continued with an average price of 833 dollars an ounce of gold ( 12 on the previous quarter). Nevertheless, among the five main groups Gold World (about 45 of global production in 2006 by CMP Group), the two North American Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining and the three South African AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold, only Newmont reached down its cash costs bringing them of 388 to 384 dollars an ounce of one quarter to another.
The Canadian Barrick, world number one, has minimized the damage containing the increase to 1.4 to 375 dollars an ounce, in the fourth quarter. Nothing is more on the other hand for the African head trio. Gold Fields suffered an increase of 8.4 of its production costs to 467 dollars an ounce, AngloGold Ashanti by 13.2 to 404 dollars an ounce, and Harmony Gold to 5.3 per cent to 613 dollars an ounce. Notebooks cover to protect against price declines gold producers have also weighed heavily on profitability in recent years. These orders books have reserved a non-negligible part of the primary supply at prices often very inferior during the cash of the metal, which was an important loss of profits for most engaged companies in this field. This is why a frenzied movement of redemption of these open positions is committed. At the end of the third quarter of 2003, these books cover mobilized 2.222 tonnes of metal. End of 2007, only 946 tonnes were still locked in these orders books.
In total, increasingly high costs of exploration and production, exchange rates increasingly unfavourable production country currencies and the progressive depletion of a large number of older deposits will allow little gold companies to increase their flow. The South Africa, first historical producer country was delight the place of head by Beijing in 2007. Pretoria, which engaged approximately 1,000 tons of gold in 1975, was produced only 254,7 tonnes last year so that the flow of China is estimated at 276 tons. One more sign of the change of time.