Australia’s Q1 gold output down on Q4 2016…but… — Lawrie Williams

Australia is the world’s second largest gold producer after China and, according to specialist Melbourne-based consultancy, Surbiton Associates, its mines produced 298 tonnes of gold in 2016. World No. 1, China, produced 463.7 tonnes according to figures from GFMS. (The latter’s estimate of Australian production in 2016 was slightly lower than that from Surbiton Associates at 287.3 tonnes, but is at least in a similar range) – we might defer to Surbiton’s figure being a local consultancy which specialises in Australian statistics only.
Surbiton’s latest assessment of Australian production is for the March quarter of the current year which puts the production figure at 71.5 tonnes, around 8% down on the December quarter last year of 77.5 tonnes but, as Surbiton indirectly points out this doesn’t necessarily mean that Australian production for the full year will be lower than last. The March quarter is a couple of days shorter than other quarters containing the short February month and mine output was also affected by some particularly wet weather which impacted particularly on several of Australia’s largest gold mines. Surbiton’s Dr Sandra Close notes in particular reduced output because of the wet weather at Newcrest’s Telfer operation, which was down by 35,000 ounces, Newmont’s Tanami mine, down 25,000 ounces, Anglogold/Indepence’s Tropicana mine, which saw a fall of 22,000 ounces and Newmont/Barrick’s Kalgoorlie Super Pit down by 16,000 ounces.
But despite this disruption the country’s total March quarter gold output was similar to that of the 2016 March quarter which came in at 71 tonnes according to Surbiton’s figures of a year ago, which suggests Australia’s total gold production is still on the rise. With a mega producer like Australia still showing gold production strength, this confirms the assessment by the major consultancies that peak gold may well not be with us yet, particularly given Q1 tends to be the lowest quarter for gold production in the Australian year. On this basis there has to be a good chance that Australia’s full year 2017 gold output could exceed 300 tonnes.

This post was published at Sharps Pixley

Hong Kong needs around-the-clock gold trading

The HKEX has presented proposals for two new gold futures products, to be launched as early as July, which would trade 16 hours a day. But brokers say that might prove too short.
“The gold market trades around the clock. This is why our customers are trading at CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) in the United States, which trades 23 hours a day,” said Alfred Yeung Ping-kwan, founding chairman of Glory Sky Group, which trades gold and stocks for investors in Hong Kong.
HKEX this month said it would start offering two new gold futures contracts — one in U.S. dollars the other in yuan — with physical delivery.

This post was published at South China Morning Post

Gold miner Petropavlovsk steps up defence against boardroom coup

Chairman and co-founder Peter Hambro has warned that a shake-up demanded by Russian group Renova and institutional investors M&G and Sothic is not in the best interests of ordinary shareholders.
Renova, the industrial conglomerate led by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, which has gold mining assets in the same eastern Russian region as Petropavlovsk, says the current board ‘does not endorse principles of good corporate governance’.
It is pushing for the removal of two-thirds of the board at the company’s annual general meeting on June 22.
Renova, M&G and Sophic hold around 30pc of the company’s shares.
Mr Hambro is stepping down as chairman after more than 20 years to be succeeded by non-independent director Andrew Vickerman, but intends to stay on the board. Renova, M&G and Sothic have opposed the re-election of both.

This post was published at The Telegraph

Lance Roberts: This Market Is Like a Tanker of Gasoline…and passive ETFs and margin debt will set it afire

Lance Roberts, chief investment strategist of Clarity Financial and chief editor of Real Investment Advice has authored a number of impressive recent reports identifying potential failure points in today’s financial markets.
In this week’s podcast, Lance explains how the massive flood of investment capital into passively-managed ETFs, along with record amounts of margin debt, has the potential to set the markets afire:

This post was published at Peak Prosperity

Here Are The Seven “Black Swans” SocGen Believes Could Shock Global Markets

As part of its periodic Global Economic Outlook, SocGen traditionally includes a discussion of what it views are the biggest “black swans” both to the upside and the downside, and the latest just released edition titled “On a Plateau”, which took a rather grim outlook to the world economy predicting that a US recession will likely hit in the not too distant future while “China, South Korea, Australia, US, Germany, UK and Japan are in the more mature phase of the cycle”, and that current global growth is “essentially as good as it gets”…
… was no different.
Which particular black swan is at the top this time?
As author Michala Marcussen writes, “to our minds, policy is the main potential source of both upside and downside risk, be it with respect to fiscal expansion, trade policies, wage outcomes, euro area reform or monetary policy. As China tightens policy, what happens next in the US has become critical, we look for modest US tax cuts but believe that, Trumpflation insufficient to offset fading Xiflation. Without tax cuts, the US economy could well slow more substantially as early as 2H18.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 31, 2017.