Top South African miners leave the World Gold Council

Top South African miners leave the World Gold Council

The miners said the decision was purely "a cost issue."

In a blow for the World Gold Council, the industry’s market-development organization, South African miners AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) and Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) have decided not to renew their membership citing fees issues.

As members pay per ounce of metal produced, both companies said they had to look at the cost-benefits of staying in the organization, amid their efforts to adjust to a gold price that has dropped 21% since the beginning of 2013.

The WGC counts among its members most producers of the precious metal, including Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM), the world’s largest gold miners.

South Africa produced more than two-thirds of the world’s gold at its peak in the 1970s, but the sector has been in decline for years as shafts have matured. However, it remains a key global producer of platinum, with the country home to about 80% of the proven reserves.

Image: XiXinXing