Gold’s floor price is getting higher, top producer Newmont says

Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer. (Image courtesy of Newmont Mining)

The head of the biggest gold producer isn’t about to join bullion bugs in predicting a price rally. But Tom Palmer does see a higher floor forming under the market as years of stimulus devolve into a fight to contain inflation.

As global markets wilt on fears of stagflation, gold has stayed relatively resilient given its haven status. Prices are set to stay around current levels of about $1,800 an ounce, or even a little higher, amid inflationary, economic and geopolitical uncertainties, said Newmont Corp.’s chief executive officer.

That’s a downright conservative view among industry peers who have been predicting much higher prices after an unprecedented period of fiscal and monetary stimulus. But Palmer is willing to project more support when prices dip — previously the floor was about $1,200 and now it’s probably more like $1,500 or $1,600, he said.

“I see no reason why you wouldn’t, over the next year or two, see it around current levels, but more importantly sitting on top of a floor that has fundamentally moved given the events of the last couple of years,” Palmer said in an interview Wednesday at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada gathering in Toronto.

To be sure, gold is down from a March peak of above $2,000. But it’s little changed this year and has held up much better than the cryptocurrencies that have diverted attention of some investors away from gold.

Palmer isn’t about to delight in crypto misfortune, though: “I focus on gold being a store of wealth for millennia in a transparent and highly regulated market. Gold is a different investment decision than crypto.”

While gold may be around forever, not all producers will, he predicted. The battle for investor attention and the increasing difficulties in developing deposits in a green way mean producers will have to be big to survive, he said.

Newmont is big enough, Palmer said, particularly after its acquisition of Goldcorp Inc. and its Nevada partnership with Barrick Gold Corp. It also has plenty of projects in its own pipeline, such as a possible $2.5 billion expansion in Peru. Still, if opportunities to buy other large, low cost assets in the right jurisdiction came along, it would take a look.

“Our radar is tuned on if opportunities were to present, but we’re very clear on the filters that would trip that radar,” he said.

(By James Attwood)


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