Barrick releases quarterly report, Beijing Olympics gold bars unveiled

The spot price of gold was slightly weaker yesterday, closing at USD$678.75 an ounce, down USD$1.25 on Monday’s close, the Herald Sun reports.

The gold miners fell, Newcrest (ASX:NCM) dropping 81c to AUD$22.45, Newmont(ASX:NEM) losing 12c to AUD$5.06, and Lihir Gold (ASX:LHG) handing back 5c to AUD$2.93.

Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) has released its first quarterly report for 2007, showing production was 2.0 million ounces at costs of USD$313 per ounce.

Barrick is on track with its 2007 guidance of producing 8.1 to 8.4 million ounces of gold at total cash costs of USD$335 to USD$350 per ounce.

All of the company’s Corporate Gold Sales Contracts have now been eliminated, leaving Barrick free to sell all of its production from existing operations at spot prices. Barrick also advanced its project pipeline, including commissioning the Ruby Hill mine, its fifth mine to commence operations in two years, during the quarter.

The traditional gold jewellery market may be suffering in India as ready- made contemporary jewellery takes over most of the market, fibre2fashion reports. Statistics show that readymade creations from areas including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Punjab account for nearly 90 percent the gold jewellery market in India.

Ready made contemporary jewellery is believed to be gaining popularity because of the wide range of designs it offers, while ethnic jewellery is losing ground because it is time consuming to produce and only a limited range of styles, which appeal to a smaller percentage of the population, are available.

China Gold Coin Corporation has issued a set of gold and silver commemorative bars to mark the torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, People’s Daily Online reports. There are four gold bars weighing between 29 grams and 1,000 grams, and six silver bars inlaid with gold weighing between 50.5 grams and 1,001 grams.

One side of the bars bears the shapes of the Beijing Olympics logo and the Temple of Heaven, an ancient building and historical site in Beijing. The other side depicts the Olympic torch.

Beaconsfield Gold (ASX:BCD) now has majority ownership of its joint venture partner in the Beaconsfield Gold Mine, located in northern Tasmanian mine.

Beaconsfield Gold took management control of the mine in February when it offered to bring joint venture partner Allstate out of administration by paying its debts, ABC online reports.

Now, Beaconsfield Gold has paid AUD$1.4 million to purchase Newmont’s stake in Allstate. This brings the company’s ownership of Allstate to 83%, and its interest in the Beaconsfield mine to 91%. The company says it will mount a final takeover bid for remaining shares within three weeks.

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