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Gold output falls further, supply 'tragic'

Gold output has declined for one of the world's leading gold producers, it has been announced.

Speaking at the Barrick Gold Corporation's annual meeting, acting chief executive Peter Munk said that its mines produced 1.7 million tons of gold in the first quarter of 2008, down from two million tons for the same period in 2007.

This could be good news for investors in gold, as the global supply continues to reduce, while demand remains high, particularly from developing countries.

"The supply side is tragic. We're running out of major gold deposits and the deposits we do have become increasingly difficult to come on stream," said Mr Munk.

He said that the reduction in output is due to opposition from non-governmental organizations and host countries, as well as operational disruptions.

A recent report from GFMS found that global mine production in 2007 declined by 0.4 per cent year-on-year. All regions except for Asia recorded declines, with Africa registering the greatest drop of 29 tons.

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