By Geena Paul
LONDON (Commodity Online): The soaring prices of gold prompted all gold producers across the globe to raise their output and that is certain to impact the gold prices in the coming months.
Miners from all corers have reported a rise in production as several firms tried to cash in on the rising prices and reduced their hedging in anticipation of better prices in the coming days.
However, the financial recovery staged by the US and several other recession-hit nations has played the spoilsport for the gold miners as the gold prices are on the decline for the past few weeks.
Recently, Peru reported that its gold production for February was at 522,373 ounces compared to 495,337 ounces in February 2008. Peru said the nation mined 9,596,228 ounces of silver last month, an 11% decrease compared to February 2009 when 10,819,793 ounces of silver were produced.
The growth in gold production was attributed to increased output at the Minera Barrick Misquichilca mine, as well as at operations by Compañia Minera San Simon, Companña Minera Podersoa, Minera Suyamarca and Minera Laytaruma.
Eldorado Gold also anticipates production of 550,000 to 600,000 ounces of gold this year at cash operating cost ranging between US$385 and $400 per ounce.
Eldorado reported 363,509 ounces of gold produced in 2009, up from 308,802 ounces in 2008. Total cash cost per ounce increased from $289/oz in 2008 to $337/oz last year.
In 2009, Eldorado's consolidated net income was $102.4 million or 26-cents per share compared to $163.7 million or 46-cents per share in 2008. Net income in 2009 included a net loss of $2.2 million reported by Sino Gold. Net income in 2008 included a gain of $72.5 million on the sale of Sâo Bento.
In Argentina also a wave of change is sweeping the country as far as mining sector is concerned. Since the overhaul of Argentina's protectionist mining laws in 1993, gold production has seen a parabolic rise from a paltry 36,000 ounces to 1.40 million ounces in 2008.
This makes Argentina the third most prolific producer in Latin America. Only Peru and Brazil posted better numbers at 5.78 million ounces and 1.55 million ounces of gold.
However, of these three gold-rich nations, only Argentina has seen a dramatic rise in its output in recent years. In sharp contrast, Brazil's gold production peaked at 3.30 million ounces just over 20 years ago and it has since dwindled to about half that figure. Even Peru's prolific numbers have begun to dip a little lower over the last several years.
These statistics point to the fact that unlike its South American peers, Argentina's gold fields are far from mature in terms of their development cycles. Also, much of its wealth of buried gold has yet to see any meaningful development. All of which translates into a booming domestic gold sector that is still experiencing a pronounced growth curve.