High gold prices have made the past year profitable for most of the world's gold miners. Now that the year-end...

High gold prices have made the past year profitable for most of the world's gold miners. Now that the year-end figures are being published, many producers are boasting increased output in light of record price increases.


Toronto's Goldcorp, for one, has set a record with its 2009 production, namely 2.4 million oz. That number was even high that the guidance amount of 2.3 million oz.


Barrick Gold of Toronto has not yet released its 2009 output numbers, but has said it expects to produce between 7.7 million and 8.1 million oz in 2010. That is up considerably from its planned 2009 production of roughly 7.5 million oz. When the new Buzwagi, Cortez Hills, Pueblo Viejo and Pascua-Lama mines are in full production, they will add 2.6 million oz to the total. Barrick is not in danger of losing its title as the world's largest gold producer.


Newmont Mining of Denver expects its 2009 output to be 5.2 million oz, but that number should rise by 5-10% in 2010 as the Boddington mine in Australia reaches full production.


AngloGold Ashanti of Johannesburg expects to produce between 4.7 million and 4.8 million oz for 2009.


Even smaller Canadian producers are along for the ride. Centerra Gold reported 2009 output of 675,592 oz, with 150,550 oz credited to the new Boroo mine in Mongolia. At 242,000 oz, 2009 production at Montreal-based Semafo was up 24% over 2008. Avion Gold said production at 51,300 oz in 2009 was above target, and the company is aiming for 100,000 oz this year. Claude Resources said production from its Seabee mine in Saskatchewan was up 12% in 2009, totalling 46,800 oz. That number is expected to grow as ore from the Santoy mine is treated in addition to that from Seabee. St Andrew Goldfields reported production of 18,838 oz, almost all of which came from the Holloway mine in Ontario.


As always, gold is the glamour metal. It gets more than its share of attention, and with record high prices, that situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.


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