Newmont announces lay-offs down south

Gold mining giant Newmont (NYSE:NEM) has announced lay-offs at operations in Australasia in what the company says is a precursor to world-wide retrenchments.

According to a Newmont press release jobs will be cut at four mines and regional headquarters in Australia as well as by Newmont Waihi Gold in New Zealand as "part of a wider package of job cuts across all Newmont sites globally."

Waihi expects to dispense with around 20 staff and contractors, while staff at Newmont's operations in Australia have already been apprised of likely redundancies.

The retrenchments come just as key iron ore and coal players such as Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) announce their own job culls and cost cuts.

Unlike commodities producers who are weathering sharp declines in spot prices however, gold miners such as Newmont enjoy the prospect of sustained gains in bullion following signs of further monetary expansion on both sides of the Atlantic and by a slowing China.

Gold producers remain hampered, however, by corresponding surges in operating costs which are nullifying the boon of the rise in bullion prices.