JOHANNESBURG/BENGALURU, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The world’s top gold miners are retrenching after COVID-19 related shutdowns despite record prices for the yellow metal, with cost-conscious executives prioritizing investor returns over production growth.
Gold prices have jumped 30% this year to roughly $2,000 an ounce as central banks dial up stimulus measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
That has fuelled a cash surge for miners, with top- and mid-tier producers holding roughly $5 billion in cash as of June 30, according to Scotiabank estimates.
But interviews with executives, analysts and fund managers show miners are hesitant to spend on pricey projects and tap marginal deposits that require sizeable capital and take years to break even.
Seven out of 10 of the global gold miners, including Newmont , the world’s biggest gold miner, Canada’s Barrick and South Africa’s Gold Fields, have cut planned output for the