Gold mining most costly in South Africa
South Africa remains the most expensive place to mine gold in the world, according to a new report.
The rising cost of mining gold in SA was believed to be the reason AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields decided to sell their South African asset base and turn their attentions to offshore investments, says the www.businesslive.co.za report.
Gold Fields has whittled its South African base down to South Deep, and AngloGold has retained only its Mponeng mine — the world’s deepest mine at 4km below the surface — and a tailings retreatment operation.
The latest data from London-based metals consultancy GFMS showed the all-in sustaining cost of gold production in SA increased by $58 an ounce in the three months to end-September 2017 from the same period in 2016.
At an all-in sustaining cost of $1,184 an ounce, SA is far above the rest of the world’s gold producers, which average $884 an ounce. The average includes SA’s costs.
The average gold price in the third quarter of 2017 was $1,278 an ounce.
The second-most expensive place to mine gold was South America at $866 an ounce.
GFMS estimated that the $20 per ounce increase in the global average price to produce gold meant 8% of the world’s gold output was unprofitable.
At the time of posting, January 29 2018, an oz of gold is $1,351 and the strengthening rand is R11.98 to the $ (six months ago it was R13 and the price of an oz of gold touched R20k compared with R16.k today).
Gold has historically increased in value as the price of oil increases and with that, the weakening dollar and the strengthening rand, SA’s mines face a perfect storm of increased costs.