1999 Gold Demand Sets New Record
Gold demand in 1999 rose by more than 20% to reach a new record level, according to New York-based World Gold Council. Strong growth in demand in India, Pakistan and the United States helped to power consumption to a new high. In the 27 markets monitored by the Council, demand rose to 3,278.4 tonnes, 21% above the total for 1998 and 7% above the previous record in 1997.
The 1999 record came in spite of a slowdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter when demand fell sharply as a result of the sudden volatility in the price of gold. However, demand recovered strongly as the period progressed so that fourth quarter demand totaled 806.0 tonnes, just below the 806.7 tonnes achieved in the fourth quarter of 1998.
An increase in both jewelry and investment contributed to the year’s record results. Jewelry demand for the full year 1999 was 2,799.2 tonnes-a formidable gain of 23% over 1998. Meanwhile investment demand for the full year 1999 totaled 479.2 tonnes, an increase of 8% over 1998.
These are the main findings in the latest issue of the World Gold Council’s quarterly survey, Gold Demand Trends No. 30, published in February, and available on the Council’s web site (www.gold.org). For further information, contact George Milling-Stanley, at telephone (212) 317-3848, e-mail george.milling_ [email protected]
New Management for Kemess Mine
The Kemess gold/copper mine in northern BC has a new owner. Northgate Exploration Ltd. acquired a 95% royalty interest (to be converted to equity interest) in the mine for US$180 million after the bankruptcy of previous owner Royal Oak Mines Inc.
Speaking at an opening ceremony at the mine site on March 15, Northgate’s chairman and CEO Terry Lyons said that in the few months under Northgate, Kemess has become a profitable operation. Recent additions to the management team include Ken Stowe (president and COO of Northgate) and Maurice Ethier (Kemess mine general manager).
The mine is expected to produce 280,000 ounces of gold and 55 million pounds of copper annually, at operating costs of about US$160 per ounce of gold, net of copper credits. The mine life expectancy is more than nine years. The company plans to expand apprenticeship training, and to improve its relationships with First Nations in the area through better communications and employment programs.