Gold output down 5% but lower dollar eases price fall

Australia’s gold sector produced slightly less gold during the March quarter than the December one, a new analysis by mining consultancy Surbiton Associates says.

Australia’s gold sector produced slightly less gold during the March quarter than the December one, a new analysis by mining consultancy Surbiton Associates says.

The 63.5 tonnes output was about 5 per cent less than the December quarter, but slightly better than the amount produced in the 2012 March quarter.

Surbiton director Dr Sandra Close said the recent fall in the gold price had been offset by the fall in the Australian dollar, which had shielded gold producers from some of the pain from the falling price.

The figures follow a tough few weeks for the local gold sector, with Focus Minerals reportedly cutting scores of jobs near Coolgardie, and listed major Newcrest cutting more than 100 jobs and closing its Brisbane office.

Elsewhere, Alacer Gold confirmed on Thursday it would seek to leave the Australian industry and focus on its lower-cost mine in Turkey.

Newcrest also flagged more than $6 billion worth of asset write-downs.

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