Gold miners concede they were complacent

Miners admit to boom-time complacency, welcome relief from rising costs.

Australian goldminers have admitted to being slow to respond to the end of a 10-year gold price bull run, but argue that efforts to tackle rising costs are beginning to pay off, according to The Australian Financial Review.

At the annual Diggers & Dealers conference, miners reflected on the gold sector's response to price declines from around the peak price of US gold at around $US1,800 an ounce, admitting that many gold miners have only recently announced efforts to tackle costs.

“Everyone just got too used to that,” Saracen Mineral Holdings (SAR) managing director Raleigh Finlayson said, according to the AFR.

“We were fortunate because a lot of our reduction in costs was already happening.

“It made us look like we were very quick in reacting, but the reality of it was we already had a lot of things in play.”

Mr Finlayson said Saracan's announcement this week that it expects to book a non-cash impairment charge of $75-$80 million on its West Australian gold assets is an effort to ensure future profits are not overshadowed by legacy costs.

Saracen Minerals is part of the Uncapped 100.