The suspension of mining activity owing to Covid-19 restrictions around the world in the second quarter of the year will result in a 1.7% decline in global gold production this year, says data and analytics company GlobalData.
It expects almost all top gold producers in key markets, including South Africa, to record lower gold output for the year.
However, widespread uncertainty and the fear of a possible global economic downturn pushed gold prices to all-time highs in August, which remain at around $2 000/oz, supporting profit growth for a number of gold miners despite the lower production.
Following the outbreak of the virus, the world's two largest gold producers, Newmont Corporation and Barrick Gold both reduced their guidance from a collective 11.6-million ounces to about 11-million ounces.
Production from these companies more than halved in the second quarter of the year to 1.4-million ounces, from a collective 2.9-million ounces produced in the second quarter of 2019.
This while miners AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross suspended their outlook for this year, and Polyus Gold’s guidance remains the same.
AngloGold Ashanti recorded a 63 000 oz year-on-year drop in gold output in the first half of the year, compared with the first half of last year.
GlobalData says gold production was also affected by lower ore grades and the sale of assets during the year. In Newcrest Mining’s case, output was lower owing to the sale of its Gosowong mine, in March, while Newmont sold its Red Lake and Kalgoorlie projects earlier in the year.