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All that glitters ...

MELBOURNE was aglow this week with the World Gold Council’s annual general meeting held in the southern capital, as well as the Australian Gold Conference and an investor’s forum.

Apart from marketing issues and global political and economic trouble, talk in and around the conference centred on consolidation in the industry.

Barrick Gold president and chief executive officer Randall Oliphant told delegates global consolidation would continue, not so much from further takeovers and mergers involving the major companies, but more likely through joint ventures and asset swapping.

As in most industries, companies are looking to gain through lower-cost operations, among them Barrick and Newmont Mining, owners of the Kalgoorlie Superpit.

These two companies boast the titles of world’s largest gold miner and world’s largest gold producer respectively.

Last month’s announcements of reserves at Newcrest Mining’s Pilbara Telfer field have positioned Telfer second behind the Superpit in terms of Australian field size.

Spots near the top of the rankings are eagerly claimed in light of the takeover activity of the past year, and Newcrest was not slow in asserting on the back of the Telfer results that it held one of the largest gold inventories.

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