New research released yesterday (November 23rd) has confirmed that gold output in Australia declined by nine per cent year-on-year during the third quarter of 2008.
Global demand for the precious metal increased by 18 per cent in the three months to September 30th as lower prices spurred safe-haven investment and high jewelry sales.
Now Melbourne-based research group Surbiton Associates has revealed that output at mines in the world's third-largest gold producer - including those belonging to Newmont Mining Corp. and Newcrest Mining - slumped to 56 tonnes.
"The low cost producers are making excellent profits, but those at the high end of the cost curve are battling," Sandra Close, a director of the firm - which collates results from Australian gold miners - said in a statement.
"Some of the miners and also some of the explorers with limited cash resources are vulnerable."
The news comes on the back of recent data which revealed that gold production in South Africa during Q3 was down by 17.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
The country's miners have been suffering from a combination of rising costs, safety-related shutdowns and the ongoing effects of January's power crisis at state energy provider Eskom.
However, if output continues to decline in such major producing countries, it will provide a boost to anyone with a gold investment as restricted supply will push prices higher.
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