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Gold’s price floor has gone up; What this means for Newmont, the world’s largest gold miner – Tom Palmer

Kitco News

Tom Palmer, CEO of Newmont, said that gold’s price floor has increased considerably over the past decade, making mining more lucrative as a result.

“We think, fundamentally, that the floor for gold has changed,” he said. “You typically have seen it sitting, probably for the last decade, at around $1,200 as a floor. I think the events of the last couple of years have changed that: the level of fiscal and monetary stimulus, the factors that are happening around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gold is more comfortably, I think, sitting with a floor of maybe $1,500 or $1,600.”

Palmer spoke with David Lin, Anchor and Producer at Kitco News, at the PDAC 2022 Convention in Toronto.

Newmont’s Costs and Revenues

Newmont’s cost guidance this year is $1,050 per ounce of gold. This assumes an $1,800 price per ounce of gold.

“Built into that [cost guidance] number are the higher taxes and royalties that you pay at that higher price,” Palmer explained. “If gold’s price were to come down, then you’re paying less taxes and royalties, so they’re coupled to each other.”

U.S. inflation was 8.6 percent in May, and Newmont is taking this into consideration, said Palmer.

“We’re starting to see some additional cost pressures coming into our business,” he said. “And we talked about it being about 5 percent over and above that number we guided to. We continue to watch that carefully… If we look further into the future, in probably 2024 we would see inflation coming down to long-run levels of about 2 to 3 percent.”

In terms of higher oil prices, Palmer explained that Newmont’s base assumption is $60 per barrel, and that every $10 increase per barrel reduces his company’s cash flow by $15 million.

However, he added that, “every $100 increase in gold price above the assumption that we make, means we generate $400 million of free cash flow every year… I talked earlier about our $1,800 assumption. [Gold] has spent a lot of this year at $1,900 to $1,950.”

Drivers of Gold Price

Palmer identified key supply and demand factors behind gold’s price.

“For gold, there are less discoveries taking place, so there’s less gold that’s going to be produced going forward,” he said. “And then there’s demand. One of the big demands for gold is jewelry in China and India. A growing middle class in both of those countries leads to greater demand for gold… I think you’ve also seen more of a move to gold as a safe haven, as a result of the volatility over the last couple of years.”

To find out Newmont’s plans for explorations and discoveries, and its ESG strategy, watch the above video.

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