future of gold companies better than expected

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    By Ralph Wragg ... RWE Publisher

    Sydney - Friday - May 9: The recovery in the price of gold has
    fanned long-dead enthusiasm for exploration.
    But don't hold your breath because it often takes up to 10 years
    to bring greenfields programs to fruition.
    What is interesting though is the number of large gold deposits
    that were not developed over the past three decades due to the low price
    for the yellow metal, difficult technology or location.
    The April issue of World Gold, part of Kernow Mining
    Publications, draws attention to a list of companies capable of
    developing their existing deposits that could be extremely significant
    in the near term.
    Such developments can come on stream under two years against the
    long term exploration projects.
    There are two Australian resource projects ready to fire out of
    the 10 listed by World Gold.
    The first is Newcrest's Telfa and the second is Newmont, Anglo
    Gold and Newcrest's Boddington expansion.
    Telfa for example is scheduled to start next year but was
    discovered in 1998 and is now expected to add 26 million ounces to total
    Boddington expansion has a resource of 20 million ounces.
    Other resource projects on the list include Target North & Sun
    owned by Avgold (South Africa) with a huge 72 million ounces, Sukhoi Log
    owned by the Russian Government, 46 million ounces, Pascua owned by
    Barrick (Chile), 24 million ounces, Cerro Casale owned by Placer/Bema,
    23 million ounces, Donlin Creek, Placer/Novagold (Alaska), 23 million
    ounces, Turquoise Hill - Ivanhoe Mines (Mongolia) with 19 million
    ounces, Burnstone - Great Basin Gold (South Africa), 17 million ounces,
    and Pueblo Viejo - Placer (Dominion Republic) also 17 million ounces.
    As World Gold editor Tom Burton says, many of the elite deposits
    were discovered back in the 1970s and many others are the eemnants of
    the 1990s exploration boom.
    The gold price at $US270 oz during this period was not enough to
    develop many of these finds.
    The picture today of course is quite different with the
    overnight gold price at $US348.40 oz.
    Burton has put the proposition that the big gap in the
    exploration time frame when development almost stopped due to the
    economics relating to the low price of gold, could be replaced by the
    resources that already have been discovered and can be well on the way
    to production in a much shorter period than exploration.
    In other words many of these companies have a much brighter
    future than some anlysts have predicted.

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