MARKETS SPECTATOR: Point of no returns

As the price of gold sinks fast, some analysts believe $US1300 is the point at which many Australian miners will begin to make losses – but which ones?

“This is gold, Mr Bond. All my life, I have been in love with it's color, it's brilliance, it's divine heaviness. I work with any enterprise that will increase my stock, which is considerable.” – Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger in the film Goldfinger.

Even Goldfinger may be despairing about the price of his favorite metal. At US$1,346 a troy ounce, a 15 per cent drop in two trading days, gold is getting to a level that is dangerous for those who mine it in Australia.

At US$1,300 or lower, some gold mines are simply unprofitable, some analysts believe. At what price for gold causes individual Australian gold mines to become loss making operations is difficult to ascertain. Gold companies will not disclose such information, analysts say.

Among the highest-cost Australian gold producers are St Barbara Ltd, Resolute Mining Ltd and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. The lowest cost producers include Medusa Mining Ltd, Beadell Resources Ltd and Regis Resources Ltd.

Newcrest Mining Ltd, Australia’s largest gold producer, has been downgraded to “sell” buy Citigroup. 

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