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A sneak peek at the Denver Gold Forum’s industry insights

The annual Denver Gold Forum is just around the corner, gathering dozens of gold miners from across the globe, including most of Australia’s major players (with the exception of Newcrest). They will be presenting and providing updates to investors and peers on the current state of the industry.

Global majors such as Newmont, Barrick, Agnico Eagle, Zinjin from China, Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, Ashanti, Lundin, and Kinross are among those slated to present.

From Australia, Evolution Mining, Northern Star, Alkane, Greatland (with a 30% stake in Newcrest’s Havieron prospect in WA), Ramelius, Genesis, Bellevue Gold, Ora Banda, Gold Road, De Grey, Alkane, Aeris, Resolute, St Barbara, Perseus, and Regis will be making appearances over the two and a half days of presentations, starting Monday night (Sydney time) and concluding Wednesday night (Sydney time).

Each presenter will have approximately 20 minutes to share their insights. Some Australian miners have already released their briefing materials via the ASX, while others will do so next week. Additionally, some miners will take advantage of the trip to provide investor updates elsewhere in the US.

Expect copper and nickel to take a back seat in discussions, with Barrick’s and Newmont’s presentations likely to focus on “red” topics rather than the traditional “golden” themes.

Gold’s price continues to hover stubbornly between $1,920 and $1,980 per ounce, weighed down by the strong US dollar, high interest rates, and an anticipated shift in the Bank of Japan’s loose monetary policy stance in early 2024.

The industry has faced challenges, including inflation, surging energy costs (especially diesel), labor costs, labor availability, and the lingering effects of the pandemic. All In Sustaining Costs (AISC), a critical measure for the sector, have risen, squeezing profit margins. However, for Australian producers (and to a lesser extent, those in Canada), the surge in the value of the US dollar has offset cost pressures by boosting the local currency gold price.

While interest in renewables like lithium grows among investors and iron ore and coal dominate mineral exports, recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the June quarter and 2022-23 exploration highlights that gold remains the primary metal of interest for Australian explorers, even though spending on renewable minerals is increasing at a faster rate.

Notably absent from the list of Australian gold producers at the event is BHP, which produces gold from Olympic Dam in South Australia, as well as copper, uranium, and silver. BHP has also recently acquired OZ Minerals mines, adding copper and gold assets to its portfolio. Although BHP’s gold production is modest by global standards, it plays a significant role in the local market. It’s worth mentioning that Newcrest emerged from BHP Gold, which was once a joint venture with Newmont, operating the Telfer mine.

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