Gold production in the first quarter fell to its lowest quarterly figure in almost two years, The Financial Times reports. Output was down 2% from the last quarter of 1999.
Lower grades of ore and mine closures account for most of the decrease. U.S.-based companies saw the largest drop in production, 6%, due to decreased output from Freeport McMoRan's giant Grasberg mine in Indonesia. Production costs also fell 2%, but total costs were only down 1%. South Africa had the highest cash costs at $228 per ounce, compared with just $160 for Canada.
- by Julia M. Duncan