South African miners quit World Gold Council because of costs


If the World Gold Council ever got interested in helping to overthrow gold price suppression, maybe its South African members could afford to rejoin.

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By Kevin Crowley
Bloomberg News
Friday, June 27, 2014

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Gold Fields Ltd. quit the World Gold Council to save money. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world's third-biggest producer of the metal, also left the organization.

Gold Fields' decision was "purely a cost issue," spokesman Willie Jacobsz said today by phone. "Members pay per ounce of metal produced and with all the cost-cutting we've seen, especially here at Gold Fields, we've had a look very carefully at our membership of all sorts of organizations around the world."

AngloGold spokesman Stewart Bailey couldn't be reached for comment.

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The WGC is the gold industry's market-development organization and its members include Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp., the largest producers.

The council "regrets" the departures, it said today in an e-mailed statement. "We thank them for all their support and hope that there will be an opportunity in the future to welcome them back."

AngloGold and Gold Fields have been slashing costs in the past year as they seek to adjust to a gold price that has fallen 21 percent since the beginning of last year.

Gold Fields Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland led the council to adopt so-called all-in cost reporting for miners last year to give investors a better understanding of producers' profit margins and help them compare performance. Such expenses exceed traditional cash costs because they include outlays such as capital spending, administration, and exploration.

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