Gold Mining Supply Hit Record High in 2011

GLOBAL Gold Mining production rose 3.8% over the course of 2011, hitting an all-time high, according to a report out this week from leading precious metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS.

Gold Survey 2011 Update 2 shows that Gold Mining supply rose to 2812 tonnes of Gold Bullion last year. The largest gains were seen in Africa.

"New projects continued to come on stream or ramp up and some mature operations were better placed to sustain output thanks to a high price environment," said GFMS.

However, the world's four largest Gold Mining firms all recorded lower production last year than in 2010.

Gold Mining production costs meantime continued their upward trend in 2011. GFMS estimates that total cash costs rose 14% over the first nine months of the year to $628 per ounce. 

Speaking at the London launch of the Update, GFMS research director Philip Newman said he expects the full year rise to be broadly the same, with GFMS's full year estimate given as $626 per ounce.

All-in Gold Mining costs for full year 2011 meantime were estimated to be $935 per ounce, a rise of around 10% on an average basis from the year before.

GFMS forecasts that global Gold Mining output will rise 3.2% in the first half of 2012.

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