Gold price , Consort mine, Metalloys make headlines
Welcome martin thanks ashley now to start off barrick gold corporation ceo, dr mark bristow, recently gave an interview about the factors influencing the gold price. Can you tell us about that? It was a very interesting thing and at high profile. So when you watch richard quest on cnn he’s got very many viewers and when you see mark bristow, come over he’s, also speaking from a remote place in central america. But the two are connecting there for the whole world to get their views on gold. And i must say, their views were very old fashioned and you know they were talking about the gold price and showing all the graphs and how quickly the gold price had risen this year and how it was targeted to go to two thousand dollars an ounce. And you know, but the basics were that people are fearful and that fear, the old fashioned fear is driving the gold price upwards and so it’s. Just a interesting, noteworthy situation where you have a situation of very old fashioned type of drivers that push the gold price. Pushing the gold price in this time of coronavirus and what was also indicated there, was that the the whole world situation is adding to it, because they said the only time the gold price really went down was in the late 90s and towards 2001, because the world Peace was in such good shape.
Everything was in harmony, you know socially, economically. It was going so well and it’s only in situations like that that the gold price really falls.
So it is definitely a bad news, metal and at the moment, there’s so much bad news that people are expecting it to go through the roof. But there is some good news. Can you tell us about the high grade gold vein at pan african’s new consort mine in barberton, again, gold and again you see in south africa. We’Ve still got a lot of activity in gold, even though we should be exploring much more and we should be getting much newer fines. We are still working on the old finds and if you go to barberton, you know this particular mine new consort. I mean it’s been going since 1928, but always it goes down and then suddenly it comes up, and we see it now within pan african resources, which is listed in london. Johannesburg now also in new york being able to turn this mind around, because suddenly they come across a wonderfully rich girlfriend, a vain deluxe like they’ve, never experienced before, and this changes the fortunes of that mind and it changes the whole atmosphere as well within pan african Resources which has been doing so good, you know, with its dumps, turning them to positive account old issues that are being made into new benefits, all the way at pan african resources and lastly, south 32’s uh smelter has been placed under temporary care and maintenance.
Yes, you know, metallois i mean, are often used to go to metallois it’s, a situation where manganese alloys are produced and it requires a lot of electricity.
But there was a time in south africa where electricity was so cheap. So you know you didn’t actually see that as a stumbling block at all. You had the manganese, which is also very rich in south africa, and you could create these manganese alloys and it was a very good business but 10 years ago i remember going there and they were expressing serious concern about the price of the electricity. They were wanting to generate their own electricity and they did take a few steps to use some of the emissions from the factory to actually lower the cost of electricity. But the cost was never lowered to the same extent that we saw at hillside aluminium, for instance, which was part of the same group. A special deal was done at hillside, aluminium, which gave very low priced electricity for a long period of time, and we can see that that did very well over this period, whereas the metalloids in melatonin, with this lovely building and wonderful edifice and nice infrastructure there. That is being put on care and maintenance because of the fact that the sales are down the whole business is not looking as viable as it should, and we hope that it’s just temporary. Of course, a lot depends on what the metal alloy prices if the manganese alloy prices go very high, it’ll change, but as things stand at the moment, it’s looking precarious because, although they say temporary, you wonder when they would ever open this again.
It might take a long time so it’s on care and maintenance at the moment, which is not good for us here, but in the same group, south 32 – they did do relatively well well, they did a lot of they produced a lot of saleable product at the Hillside aluminium smelter and why i just bring that in as well, is because we see that in new zealand, the new zealand aluminium smelter has been closed. So you can see that things are also tough in the in the aluminium space and unless you’ve got this low cost electricity. In a lot of these alloys businesses, you run into trouble, and so we need to get to a point where we can make sure that either people generate their own electricity at low cost or we can give low cost electricity to keep a lot of these going. Because, even with the aluminium products now you’ll see that the london metal exchange from next year will be giving a price premium to anyone who produces the aluminium using renewable energy. And of course the people in the scandinavian countries are very happy about this. Because they’ve got access to hydropower and they can claim that they’re using clean energy, but it doesn’t say you know it is no carbon. You just have to be low carbon, so south africans could use their sunshine and just produce some renewable energy which would be able to give them that tag of low carbon, and it would help them to get that price treatment.
And i think we should try and clutch at every straw. There is to keep our businesses going and if it means generating sun energy at a competitive price, i don’t think we should hesitate to keep things going and use the sun to help us.