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Global Gold mine production advances to 875.3 tons in Q3

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NEW YORK (Scrap Register): Global Gold mine production advanced by 1.9 percent year-on-year to 875.3 tons during the third quarter of this year, according to the World Gold Council.

This is the highest level of quarterly production in our records and comfortably above the five-year quarterly average of 809.8 tons.

Some of the largest producing nations saw double-digit declines during the quarter but these were more than offset by significant gains elsewhere.

In China, environmental regulations introduced last year continue to impact the mining industry. National gold output fell in Q3 by 6% y-o-y as operations in or near nature reserves were closed, and as environmental levies and taxes increased.

And these pressures may remain for the short term. South African output fell 10% y-o-y in Q3. The closure of loss-making operations such as Evander, TauTona and Cooke contributed to this decline, as did a reduction in output from South Deep. In Indonesia (-13% y-o-y), the completion of Phase 6 ore at Batu Hijau was the main driver of lower y-o-y production.

In Peru, Q3 output dropped 17% y-o-y owing to lower production profiles from mature operations – such as Lagunas Norte, Orcopampa, La Zanja and La Arena, which saw production fall significantly during the quarter – and a reduced production pipeline.

Mali (34%) and Papua New Guinea (25%) saw the largest y-o-y growth in Q3. In Mali, this was driven by the ramp-up at the Fekola and Yanfolila projects. Papua New Guinea, Lihir and Hidden Valley were the main drivers of the increase in aggregate gold production. Production in the US was strong in Q3, rising by 9% y-o-y.

The completion of maintenance work at Barrick Nevada, as well as y-o-y production gains from Carlin, Fort Knox and Cripple Creek contributed to this increase. Canadian output grew 13% y-o-y in Q3, as the ramp-up of production at Brucejack, Rainy River and Moose River continued.

Continued growth in production. Mine production has now registered six consecutive quarters of y-o-y growth, building on renewed optimism for the sector.

A combination of growth from key producing countries – such as Russia and Canada – as well as the improving production pipeline, will be supportive of further growth in 2018. The declining production profile of two or three years ago has since shifted to a more robust picture for the industry.

 

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