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Gold mining 'to be hit by global power shortage'

In news that may be of interest to those with investments in the gold market, an expert has warned that the mining industry could be seriously hit by a global power shortage in the future.

Speaking at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, Andy Walker of power generator provider Aggreko said that the current shortage of 40 gigawatts could rise to as much as 200 gigawatts in the next seven years, Reuters reports.

The potential effect of such a shortage has been recently illustrated by the electricity shortages in South Africa, which led to a number of mining companies having to scale back their operations.

This in turn helped to push gold prices up to new record highs - a trend that could repeat itself should reality match up with Mr Walker's warnings.

"Increased demand on [power] utilities, which has got a backlog of power requirements ... [mean] projects start to be delayed," he remarked.

"The delays are causing lost production. Every day gone is a day lost forever."

South Africa's mining power problems continued into last week, when energy firm Eskom failed to meet a promise to restore at least 90 per cent of full power to mining firms by Thursday evening.

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