World’s Top 10 Gold Mining Companies
$ABX, $GG, $NEM, $AU, $KGC, $SBGL
The price of Gold broke a 3-year losing streak in Y 2016, but the focus of the world’s top Gold mining companies in terms of output continued to be on cost-cutting and divestment which led to a decline in production for most of the sector’s majors.
Preliminary Gold production by the Top 10 publicly-traded, non state-owned Gold mining companies IntelligenceMine totaled 29.46-M oz in Y 2016.
That represents a 4% decrease compared to Y 2015, but still makes up a significant proportion of overall global production of some 100-M oz a year.
Fewer discoveries, lower grades and difficult economics and regulatory environment in many countries are expected to result in fall in global production in Y 2017 for the 1st time in more than a decade.
Most of the companies in the top rankings achieved savings per ounce of Gold mined, but all-in costs (AISC – a measure that captures direct operating costs, corporate and exploration expenditure and capital investment required to sustain the business) have stayed high for many of the top producers as the positive effects of lower energy costs and currency weakness Vs USD diminishes.
The Top 10 list stayed the same compared to Y 2015, but there are notably close like Canada’s Yamana Gold which produced just short of 1.3-M oz of in Y 2016 and is closely followed by Africa-focused Randgold Resources.
1. Barrick Gold
With 5.52-M oz of Gold produced in Y 2016, Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE::ABX) holds 1st place in global ranking, well ahead of its competitors.
Compared to 2015’s 6.12-M oz, Barrick’s Gold output dropped by 9%, mainly because of the Toronto-based company’s asset sales including the Bald and Round Mountain mines in January 2016 to # 5 on the list Kinross Gold. Barrick also reduced its equity interests in the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea in Q-3 of Y 2015.
Barrick’s focus on cost-cutting and restructuring of its portfolio paid off in a big way – the company managed to reduce its all-in sustaining costs (AISC) by 12%, from $831 in Y 2015 to $730 in Y 2016.
2. Newmont Mining
US-based Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) stays at #2, but closed the gap substantially producing 4.9-M oz of the precious Yellow metal in Y 2016, 6% more than in Y 2015.
This growth was supported by new production from Merian and Long Canyon; a full year of production at Cripple Creek & Victor and Carlin’s Turf Vent Shaft; and productivity improvements at Kalgoorlie. These ounces offset the impacts of declining production at Yanacocha and geotechnical issues at Carlin.
The Denver, Colorado-based company reduced its all-in sustaining costs (AISC) by 2%, from $933 in Y 2015 to $912 in Y 2016.
3. AngloGold Ashanti
AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU), reported 8% decrease in annual production, from 3.95-M oz of Gold in Y 2015 to 3.63-M oz in 2016.
Production was impacted by safety-related stoppages at its South African mines; lower grades from Kibali in H1 2016; a planned decrease in head grades at Geita and Tropicana; and Obuasi having been on care and maintenance for Y 2016.
Johannesburg-based AngloGold’s AISC jumped 8%, from $910 in Y 2015 to $986 in Y 2016.
Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) produced 2.87 Moz of gold in 2016, down 17% compared to 2015 (3.46 Moz). The sharp drop was due to work stoppages at some of its biggest mines Cerro Negro (Argentina) and lower ore grade as well as lower throughput due to harder ore types processed at Penasquito (Mexico) mines.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp reduced AISC by 4%, from $894 in Y 2015 to $856 in Y 2016. The decrease in AISC was primarily due to lower production costs and the favorable impact of the strengthening USD against the Argentine and Mexican pesos.
5. Kinross Gold
Another Canadian company Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE:KGC), achieved fifth place in terms of output, producing 2.79-M oz of Gold equivalent in Y 2016, 8% higher than in Y 2015.
Increase in production was mainly a result of the acquisition of Bald Mountain and the 50% of Round Mountain mines from Barrick. Kinross’s AISC in 2016 was $984 or 1% higher than in Y 2015 ($975).
In Y 2017 Kinross expects to produce 2.5–2.7-M Au eq. oz. at a production cost of sales per Au eq. oz. of $660 – $720 and an all-in sustaining cost per of $925–$1,025.
6. Newcrest Mining
#6 in the ratings, Australia’s Newcrest Mining Limited (OTCMKT:NCMGY), produced 2.46-M oz of Gold in Y 2016 approximately 1% lower than Y 2015 output.
The Melbourne-based company managed to keep AISC on the same level as in Y 2015 and boast the lowest cost mine anywhere in the world. Its Cadia Valley operations in Western Australia pump out the Yellow metal at a cost of less than $300 oz and have been doing so for years.
7. Gold Fields
South African Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) produced 2.15-M oz of Gold equivalent in Y 2016, which is a bit lower than Y 2015 production volume.
Like fellow South African miner Sibanye, Gold Fields manage reduce its AISC to triple digits, from $1,007 in Y 2015 to $980 in Y 2016.
8. Polyus Gold
Russia’s Polyus Gold (MCX:PLZL) produced 1.97-M oz of Gold in Y 2016, a 12% increase from its Y 2015 take of 1.76-M oz. Polyus Gold’s AISC/oz demonstrated a 4% Y-Y decliner to $572 oz in Y 2016.
Strong operational performance, efficiency improvement initiatives and Russian ruble devaluation continued to support the Moscow company’s cost profile as it ramps up to a goal of 2-M oz per year.
9. Agnico Eagle
Canadian Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (TSE:AEM) Gold output decreased from 1.67-M oz in Y 2015, to 1.66-M oz in Y 2016. Agnico Eagle’s reported by-product AISC was $824 in Y 2016 or 2% higher than AISC in Y 2015 at $810.
Agnico Eagle is on an aggressive growth path with production expected to increase from current levels to 2.0-M oz in Y 2020 after the Toronto-based company’s board recently approved expansion of its Meadowbank mine in Nunavut, Canada and a new project called Meliadine in the same territory.
South Africa’s Sibanye Gold Limited (JSE:SGL & NYSE:SBGL), which split from held onto its # 10 position despite a modest loss of ounces.
The Johannesburg-based company which is also a major Platinum, Palladium miner producing 1.51-M oz Au, or 1% less than in Y 2015.
Sibanye slashed AISC by 7%, from $1,030 in Y 2015 to $954 in Y 2016.
*All-in sustaining cost is a measure that captures direct operating costs, corporate and exploration expenditure and capital investment required to sustain the business.
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