Lawrence Williams

About the Author Lawrence Williams

Former CEO of Mining Journal Ltd. and subsequently General Manager of - a position relinquished in October 2012 to continue as a freelance writer. Graduate mining engineer from London's Royal School of Mines (part of London University) - has worked on gold, platinum and uranium mines in South Africa, copper in Zambia, uranium in Canada and holds a South African Mine Manager's Certificate. Joined Mining Journal originally as Financial Editor and worked for the company for over 30 years spending 13 years as CEO. Particular follower of the gold and platinum market and has written numerous articles on precious metals for Mining Journal and Mineweb and has also written for London's Financial Times as well as for other media and publications including SeekingAlpha. Has been regular writer for - and now has own blog - as well.

Brexit ‘ill wind’ great for Aussie gold miners

gold miners’ stocks

As the saying goes, ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’ and the decision by the British electorate to vote to leave the EU in yesterday’s referendum cerainly seems to be working in favour of Australian gold miners.  A combination of a fall in the Australian dollar’s parity with its US counterpart together with the rising US dollar gold price means that the Australian domestic gold price in its own currency, in which most of its costs are incurred, has hit a new record.

According to specialist consultancy, Surbiton Associates, the leave vote pushed the Australian dollar gold price as high as A$1,830 per in early afternoon Friday trading in Sydney.  The previous Australian dollar record of A$1,806.50 per ounce was set on 22 August 2011. This occurred when the US dollar gold price stood at US$1,877.50 an ounce and the Australian dollar was worth 104 US cents.

“We have been following the US dollar gold price and the US:Australian dollar exchange rate changes closely all day,” said Dr Sandra Close, a Surbiton director. ”Things are moving so fast that it is hard to keep up.”

Surbiton goes on to note that gold prices rose from the opening bell in Sydney this morning. After fluctuations in response to the early voting results, prices began rising steeply in afternoon trading. The main driver behind the rise in the US dollar gold price is the uncertainty that is emerging that would follow Britain’s departure from the EU and whether other countries in the EU might to follow Britain’s example.

“One thing I have learned over time is that the gold market is full of surprises,” Dr Close said. “Trying to forecast gold prices, or the price of any commodity, is a futile exercise – after all, you simply cannot predict the future.”

Australia is the world’s second largest gold producing country behind China. In 2015, Australia produced 285 tonnes of the yellow metal.

“Nothing is certain in the gold business,” said Dr Close whose company, Surbiton Associates is well-known for expertise on the gold industry. “We must always expect the unexpected.”

But it won’t just be Australian gold miners who are benefiting from the gold price surge and domestic currency falls.  Most major gold mining nations will also have seen the same effects with their own currencies falling against the US dollar, while the dollar gold price has jumped. While the Australian dollar is down around 3%, South Africa’s Rand is down nearly 5% for example.  The Canadian dollar down 2%, the Russian Ruble 2.5%.  Even the Chinese yuan, which is technically tied to the dollar, has fallen around 0.7%.  All these will have a positive impact on gold price production margins.




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