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Gold News & Press Comments

Newmont Forecasts Gold Over $1,000
Bloomberg report of statement by the President of leading gold miner Newmont.

Newmont Forecasts Gold to Rise Above $1,000 on Asian Demand

Nov. 27th 2005 (Bloomberg) -- Newmont Mining Corp., the world's largest producer of gold, says the price of the precious metal may rise to more than $1,000 an ounce in the next five to seven years as demand growth driven by Asia outstrips global supply.

The gold market "is hot and it is going to get hotter," Denver-based Newmont's President Pierre Lassonde said in an interview on Australian Broadcasting Corp. television today. "By early next year you are going to see $525 and down the road even a lot higher than that."

Gold for immediate delivery touched $497.02 on Nov. 25, the highest intraday price since December 1987, as Japanese investors bought bullion to hedge against inflation and jewelers in Asia and Europe stocked up. Lassonde's prediction surpasses a Merrill Lynch & Co. forecast in July that gold may rise to $725 by 2010 because of rising demand from China.

"When any of these markets get momentum behind them, you tend to find some pretty outrageous calls," said Mark Pervan, head of resources research at Daiwa Securities SMBC Australia in Melbourne. "There's going to be a lot of gold calls made in this environment, it's similar to the oil market about six months ago when people" were saying oil may reach $100 a barrel, he said.

Gold may top a record $873 during the next three years because the U.S. will be unable to check inflation caused by rapid growth in China and India, William Gary, a publisher of newsletters with subscribers that include hedge fund Tudor Investment Corp., forecast last month.

China, India

Some investors buy gold to hedge against accelerating inflation. Gold futures surged to $873 an ounce in 1980, when U.S. consumer prices rose more than 12 percent from the previous year. Gold last climbed above $500 an ounce on Dec. 11, 1987.

"Everybody thinks inflation is going to stay at 2 percent, I don't believe it," said Lassonde. "There has been way too much money printing in the world for that to happen."

Inflation, excluding food and energy, will probably rise 2.4 percent by the fourth quarter next year from this quarter, up from a 2.1 percent gain a year earlier, a survey by the National Association for Business Economics found.

Newmont said Oct. 26 third-quarter profit fell 2.3 percent to $126 million as output dropped 6.8 percent, eroding the benefit of rising gold demand and prices.

Worldwide gold production last year had the largest decline in 39 years, Lassonde said. Demand in India, the world largest consumer, rose 47 percent last fiscal year, and 14 percent in China, the world's fastest growing economy, he said.

The decline in output will continue "for at least another couple of years simply because the industry didn't put money back into the ground when the gold price was very low," Lassonde said. "On the other side demand is just surging everywhere. It is driven mostly by Asia, China and India."


The price of gold may rise above $500 in the "very near future," Barrick Gold Corp. Chief Executive Gregory Wilkins said in an interview in Toronto Nov. 18. Still, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. analyst Craig Ferguson said in an Nov. 22 report that gold may fall as low as $455 in the next three months.

Gold has rallied from a 20-year low of $253.20 an ounce in 1999 partly because 15 central banks in Europe, including Germany, agreed to limit their annual bullion sales to 400 tons through 2004. The banks, under a second agreement that began last year, increased the annual limit to 500 tons. Central banks, mainly in the U.S. and Europe, hold almost a fifth of the world's gold as a reserve asset.

Lassonde's forecast "is an ambitious target considering that central banks hold a lot of gold and at $1,000 it looks very attractive to sell," said Daiwa's Pervan.

In 2004, central banks sold 475 tons of gold, contributing 14 percent to global production, which included mine output and sales of scrap bullion, according to the World Gold Council.

Lassonde said he was undecided if Newmont should make a takeover bid for Placer Dome Inc., Canada's second-largest gold producer. Placer is fending off a $8.93 billion hostile takeover bid from Barrick, the world's third-largest gold miner, and said last week it's seeking alternative transactions.

"It would be fair to say that we have to at least think about it but whether or not we are going to do something is far from evident," he said. Still, "the suite of assets is not entirely complimentary to what we have at Newmont."

Record High Gold Price in Pounds Sterling (GBP) - May 2006

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Gold News & Comments

Our Comments
Our thoughts about this article were:

We often hear crazy predictions about future gold prices, which we tend to all but dismiss as being from the lunatic fringe, however Newmont are one of the world's largest gold producers, ant not prone to wild exaggeration. Also, the pattern and strength of recent gold price increases has led us to believe that the market has changed, and we would no longer discount the possibility of gold exceeding it previous record levels of $850 per ounce, to perhaps $1,000 or more, over a medium or long timespan.

Since this news item appeared, gold has traded at over $540 and over £305 per ounce, breaking a 24 year record high price.

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