Global output for three of the most important mined metals, gold, copper and iron ore, fell significantly in the first three month of the year, compared to the previous quarter, a fresh report published Tuesday shows.
Production results published to date, however, suggest that gold and iron ore production are still higher than the year-ago quarter, up almost 12% in the case of iron ore, according to SNL Metals & Mining’s data.
According to the research firm’s director of reports, Chris Hinde, gold production was the most affected in the first quarter of 2015, falling over 10% when compared to the last quarter of 2014.
Much of the overall decline in reported gold output, notes Hinde, was due to a significant quarter-on-quarter production declines from AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), Goldcorp (TSE:G) and Sibanye Gold (NYSE:SBGL). The three of them scored a combined fall in production of 476,000 ounces, compared to the linked quarter.
Poor totals from Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX), Centerra Gold (TSE:CG), Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and Polymetal International (LON:POLY), also weighed in:
Barrick saw a decline of 137,000 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2015, Centerra Gold Inc.’s output dropped by 130,553, Polymetal International production was down 113,000 ounces, and diversified miner Freeport’s production sank of 109,000 ounces.
In terms of copper, from 49 miners analyzed by SNL, the 22 largest producers registered a combined output of 2.41 million tonnes, which was 4% less than on the previous quarter. From that group, 13 companies — or about 59% — reported lower output between the December and March quarters.
You can read the full report here.