Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson

NEWCREST Mining boss Greg Robinson says political risk is the single biggest risk facing the mining industry today.
Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson Political risk a 'global phenomenon': Robinson

Delivering a keynote address at Mines and Money Hong Kong this morning, Robinson said political risk was a "global phenomenon".

He said it was behind the World Gold Council push for gold producers to report "all-in" cash costs to give all stakeholders a clearer picture of industry costs.

"I think it's important that the industry gets a fully loaded cost profile out," he said.

Robinson said all-in costs across the industry probably averaged around $US1300-1400 per ounce.

"It's a hell of a lot in the labour costs," he said, adding that Newcrest's labour costs were around 40% of total costs.

Robinson said the mining industry as a whole was shifting its focus from "growth at any cost" to optimisation.

"Doing more with what you've got," he said.

Newcrest's biggest focus going forward will be productivity and Robinson said he expected it to be a focus across the industry.

"Productivity is where the gains are," he said.

"These are the things that are really a big prize for the industry in the years ahead."

Robinson said Newcrest would continue to invest heavily in exploration at a time when discovery rates were "volatile and declining".

"It's defining for the future of the company," he said.

He said the importance of cheap resource acquisition couldn't be underestimated.

"That really underpins everything," he said. "It should never ever be ignored.

"You can build a great company off the back of it."

Robinson flagged project delays over the coming years and urged patience because good projects would still be funded.

"The capital market really isn't in a big mood to fund projects."

As a result, he doesn't expect any production growth in the gold industry, which was an opportunity for existing producers to thrive.

"Through this next period gold companies will do well."


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