Australia's production of the safe haven yellow metal gold continued to decelerate in the third quarter, spurred largely by the wet weather conditions.
Australia's gold production in the January-March period dropped to 62 metric tonnes, a slide of 5 per cent from the previous quarter and 4 per cent from a year ago, data released Sunday by Melbourne-based mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty. Ltd. showed.
Gold futures advanced a tad higher on Wednesday, by far its best level in little over a week, on a weakening US dollar and Iran's pronouncement of its progress in its nuclear program. As of 0015 GMT, spot gold inched 0.2 per cent to $1,606.09 an ounce, its biggest daily gain in more than two months.
"As well as the usual ups and downs, wet weather caused access problems in several mines, particularly in NSW and the NT, so there was greater reliance on treating lower grade stockpiles which reduced gold output," Sandra Close, director of Surbiton Associates Pty. Ltd., said, noting several of Australia's largest operations, including Newmont Mining's Boddington mine, Newcrest's Cadia Hill site and Kalgoorlie's Super Pit, all turned in lower gold production in the March quarter.
The body, however, expects the tiny island-nation to recover its gold production once the new pipeline projects go online very soon. Newcrest's Cadia East operation, for one, is forecast to produce between 700,000 to 800,000 ounces of gold by yearend.
"There is also a string of medium to small gold operations which should begin production later this year. Each is not large, but together they amount to a steady supply of new projects that replace those that are worked out and closed."
Cadia Hill's March quarter plummeted by 27,000 ounces due to slippage problems and heavy rain. Mill maintenance affected the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie, with production down to 16,000 ounces.
Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold's join venture, the Super Pit, meanwhile, was Australia's largest gold producer in the March quarter at 182,000 ounces, the report said.
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