|Title:||Global top 10 gold mining companies ranked by production in ounces including reserves for 2009 and 2010, and forecast for 2011|
|Source:||E-MJ - Engineering & Mining Journal|
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Top XX Gold Mining Companies *
Production (M oz) Reserves
Country 2011e 2010 2009 (M oz)
Barrick Gold Canada X.X X.X X.X XXX.X Newmont Mining USA X.X X.X X.X XX.X AngIoGold Ashanti ** South Africa X.X X.X X.X XX.X Gold Fields ** South Africa X.X X.X X.X XX.X Newcrest Mining ** Australia X.X X.X X.X XX.X Kinross Gold Canada X.X X.X X.X XX.X Goldcorp Canada X.X X.X X.X XX.X Polyus Gold Russia X.X X.X X.X XX.X Harmony Gold Mining ** South Africa X.X X.X X.X XX.X Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold USA X.X X.X X.X XX.X
* Publicly traded gold mining companies, does not include Navoi Mining
** Operates on a FY.
For the XXth consecutive year, gold prices have increased. Global economic uncertainty throughout much of 2011 allowed miners to continue to capitalize on a bull run that began in 2001. The mining industry's unhedged exposure to rising gold prices has improved profits margins and cash flow. Demand for bullion remains strong, especially from large emerging markets like China and India. Central banks and investors alike seek to diversify portfolios with gold.
The second half of 2011 was a wild ride for gold prices. A third quarter rally pushed the price of gold to a record of $X,XXX/oz. Gold ended 2011 at $X,XXX/oz, up XX% with an average price of $X,XXX/oz for the year. The possibility of an American default as politicians debated an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling, prompted a downgrade of U.S. debt, which took gold prices higher. Gold prices fell by XX% after politicians reached a temporary fix. Soon afterward, Eurozone financial concerns emerged, gold prices fell further as investors fled from commodities in a massive sell-off. Gold quickly regained its upward momentum as 2012 began.
Despite problems in both Indonesia and Peru, it's believed that gold miners will produce approximately X,XXX metric tons (mt) of gold in 2011, or about XXX million oz, an increase of around X% over 2010. In general, mines are going deeper and ore grades are declining, which means miners must extract and process more ore. On top of these conditions, discovery rates are also declining. Gold miners are investing heavily in exploration programs, and in increasing capacity and optimizing existing operations.
Barrick Discovers More Nevada Gold
Barrick Gold will produce X.X-X.X million oz of gold in 2011 at a total cash cost of $XXX-$XXX/oz. The leading gold producer recently announced two significant gold discoveries on the Cortez property in Nevada, Red Hill and Goldrush. The development of the Pueblo Viejo and Pascua-Lama mines continues to advance with first production anticipated in mid-2012 and mid-2013, respectively. The two mines should average X.X-X.X million oz/y in gold production during the first five years of operation at a relatively low cash cost.
"We remain on track to achieve our targets, one of which is to have one of the lowest cash cost profiles among the senior gold producers," said Aaron Regent, president and CEO, Barrick Gold. Recent drilling continues to expand the mineralization at the two discoveries in Nevada, Regent explained. Infill drilling between the two deposits is advancing the possibility that they will merge into a single deposit.
Barrick's North America region continued to perform well during 2011. lt is expected to produce X.X-X.X million oz in 2011, at $XXX-$XXX/oz. The Cortez Hills open-pit mine was in a higher waste stripping phase and is now entering a higher grade area. The Goldstrike operation transitioned to a higher stripping phase in the second half of 2011.
The company's South American business unit performed ahead of plan, producing X.XX-X.XX million oz at a cash cost of $XXX-$XXX/oz. As a result of mine sequencing, Lagunas Norte's production exceeded plan. Veladero also met the company's production and cost guidance ranges. In the South Pacific, the Porgera mine was impacted by lower underground production, primarily due to equipment availability issues and unplanned maintenance.
During 2011 exploration, Barrick invested $XXX-$XXX million in exploration with most of the activity weighted toward resource additions and reserve conversion at and around mine sites mostly in Nevada.
At the Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic, first production is anticipated in mid-2012. Barrick's share of annual gold production in the first full five years of operation is expected to average XXX,XXX-XXX,XXX oz at total cash costs of $XXX-$XXX/oz. Total mine construction capital is estimated at $X.X-$X.X billion.
Project construction is more than XX% complete following a delay caused by damage to the partially constructed starter tailings dam facility due to a heavy rainfall event in May 2011. Remediation of the starter tailings dam continues to progress. The mine has received all of the necessary approvals to allow construction of the dam to its full height. Brick lining of all four autoclaves was completed. Nearly all of the concrete has been poured, about XX% of the steel has been erected and more than X.X million mt of ore has been stockpiled. As part of a longer-term, optimized power solution for Pueblo Viejo, a plan is under way to build a $XXX million dual-fuel power plant. The new plant is expected to provide lower cost, longer term power to the project.
Sitting on the border between Chile and Argentina, Pascua-Lama is expected to achieve first production in mid-2013. Average annual gold production is expected to be XXX,XXX-XXX,XXX oz in its first full five years of operation at negative total cash costs of $XXX-$XXX/oz, assuming a silver price of $XX/oz. Average annual silver production for the first full five years is expected to be about XX million oz.
Barrick has targeted growth in production to approximately X million oz of gold within the next five years.
Newmont Brings Gold Quarry Back Online
Newmont Mining Corp. expects to produce X.X to X.X million oz of gold at $XXX-$XXX/oz during 2011. Potentially lower grades due to mine sequencing at Gold Quarry and lower grades at Exodus in Nevada are impacting production and the Boddington mine in Australia has seen an increase in operating costs.
In North America, gold production from Newmont's Nevada operations decreased X% due to lower mill grade ore and throughput, partially offset by higher leach placement and recoveries. Open-pit ore tons mined increased XXX% as the remediation of the Gold Quarry pit slope failure was completed.
The Yanacocha mine in Peru is expected to produce XXX,XXX to XXX,XXX oz at a cost of $XXX-$XXX/oz.
Boddington produced XXX,XXX oz during the third quarter. Gold production decreased due to lower mill grade, but was partially offset by higher mill throughput. Costs continue to increase due to the lower gold grade, higher royalty costs and diesel prices. Some of the increase was partially offset by higher by-product credits.
Batu Hijau in Indonesia produced XX,XXX oz during the third quarter, a decrease of XX% from the same period last year. The company attributed the decrease to lower mill grade, throughput and recovery as a result of processing more stock piled material compared to higher grade Phase X ore in 2010 and the completion of mill motor replacements. Waste tons mined increased XXX% as Phase X waste removal continues as planned.
Newmont expects 2011 attributable gold production for Batu Hijau of approximately XXX,XXX to XXX,XXX oz at CAS of between $XXX and $XXX/oz.
The Ahafo in Ghana produced XXX,XXX oz at cash cost of $XXX/oz during the third quarter, a X% decrease. Again, lower mill grades were partially offset by higher recovery. In addition to the lower production, costs were also pushed higher by increased labor, diesel and royalty costs. Newmont expects Ahafo to produce XXX,XXX to XXX,XXX oz in 2011 at a cost of $XXX-$XXX/oz.
Newmont invested nearly $X billion in operations in 2011 much of it (XX%) associated with major project initiatives, including further development of the Akyem project in Ghana, the Conga project in Peru, Hope Bay in Canada, and the Nevada project portfolio.
Weather and Safety Impact AngloGold Ashanti
AngloGold Ashanti is implementing a new operating model to improve productivity across XX mines and a portfolio of development projects. Its Continental Africa operations posted some great numbers last year, with Geita in Tanzania being the largest contributor at XXX,XXX oz at a cash cost of $XXX/oz. Geita experienced a "once-off" benefit of higher-grade feed to compensate for the SAG mill shutdown. The company also noted strong performances at Iduapriem in Ghana and from the Americas, where Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina was once again a standout as the group's most efficient producer.
Drought continued to impact production at Cripple Creek in Colorado, while Sunrise Dam's recovery from Australian flooding in the first half of the year was again slower than anticipated, as was the ramp-up of production following the five-day wage-related strike at the South African operations. In addition, winter power tariffs, higher wages, increased royalties and lower by-product credits also contributed to cost pressure in South Africa.
Tragically, three fatalities were recorded in South Africa. The company continues to invest in improving its long-term safety performance, with the benchmark all injury frequency rate of X.XX per million hours, the lowest in the company's history. all of this this translated to a fourth quarter estimated production of approximately X.X million oz at a total cash cost of approximately $XXX/oz.
Given the increased safety stoppages in South Africa, the ongoing water shortages at Cripple Creek and the slower ramp up at Sunrise Dam, full year 2011 production is now estimated to be around X.X million oz in 2011. Total cash costs are estimated at between $XXX-$XXX/oz on the basis of slightly weaker local operating currency assumptions for the year.
Gold Fields Suffers Production Disruptions
Gold Fields Ltd. expects to produce X.X million gold equivalent oz (geo) in 2011. Total cash costs are expected to be about $XXX/oz. Production decreased during the fourth quarter of 2011 as a result of disruptions in Ghana due to power outages and a slower milling rate at Tarkwa. In the South Africa region, production was impacted by stop and fix interventions at Beatrix and a lower underground grade at South Deep due to changes in the mining mix needed to increase flexibility. Gold equivalent production at Cerro Corona, in Peru, was adversely impacted by lower copper prices relative to the gold price.
The company experienced an interruption in South African production in July that occurred during the five day national industrial action over the wage negotiation process. During the second quarter of 2011, two significant seismic related accidents at the Kloof Driefontein complex resulted in production stoppages due to safety interventions. In the Australasia Region, production was affected by a week-long, unplanned mill-outage at St Ives. Remedial actions in respect of the seismic-related accidents and the unplanned mill-outage were satisfactorily completed during the latter part of the second quarter of 2011.
Newcrest Dewaters Pits After a Tough Second Half
Newcrest Mining Ltd. recently reduced gold production guidance to X.X-X.X million oz/y due to continuing production disruptions at Cadia Valley and Lihir, and lower feed grades and recoveries at Telfer. This is around X% below the original minimum guidance level. Increased costs at Gosowong resulting from a higher exchange rates and additional costs associated with a tragic helicopter accident in August are expected to be offset by lower than planned site costs at Cadia Valley and Telfer.
Newcrest's two major projects at Lihir and Cadia Valley remain on schedule and within budget. At Lihir, production for the first two quarters of FY 2011-XX is expected to be approximately XXX,XXX oz lower than planned and it is unlikely this production will be recovered during the remainder of this financial year. The lower production is a result of the extended time required to complete the total plant shut down during August and the extreme rainfall during September which impeded production from high grade positions in the open-pit until mid-November. Water pumping capacity in the pit has now been doubled with a further upgrade planned soon.
At Telfer, production for the first two quarters is expected to be approximately XX,XXX oz lower than planned which is unlikely to be recovered this financial year. Mill throughput rates have been in line with plan, according to Newcrest, however lower feed grades and material movement from main dome open-pit, coupled with lower metallurgical recoveries associated with the commencement of west dome ore feed have impacted production. The scheduled commissioning of Jamieson Cells in January and planned installation of an Isa Mill later in FY2011/XX are expected to improve ore recoveries.
Cadia Valley production for the second half of 2011 is expected to be approximately XX,XXX oz lower than planned, primarily due to a ground slip in the open-pit and heavy rainfall. The slip occurred low on the south-east wall of the open-pit and blocked a turn on the haul road preventing access to the bottom of the pit. Access to the pit has been re-established. The pit needed to be dewatered and mining was expected to resume in mid-January 2012. The mill continues to operate at capacity using low grade stockpiles. The company says recovery of the lost production is unlikely.
The Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade (MOPU) is progressing to plan. A major tie-in to the existing process was completed in August. There are no major project plant shut downs scheduled at Lihir during the remainder of the 2011/XX financial year.
A new XX MW fuel oil power plant was energized in November and is now supplying power from the first two of its X MW generating sets. This has occurred to plan and commences the sequential start-up of the expansion project during calendar year 2012. The new crushing circuit is expected to be energized in February, followed by the milling circuit and the new oxygen plant and autoclaves which enable design throughput to be achieved. The project remains within budget (US$X.X billion) and on time for completion by the end of calendar year 2012.