How changes in gold reserve price led to a $60 billion write-down
Despite a 300% increase in the gold price between 2002 and 2015, global reserves at primary gold mines have risen by just 28% over the same period (after taking into account depletion). Reserve replacement increased rapidly between 2002 and 2012 as the industry increased reserve price assumptions from US$300/oz to US$1,344/oz. This resulted in reduced cut-off grades and was accompanied by paltry margins through the bull. With the fall in gold prices since 2013, industry reserve prices have dropped sharply to US$1,202/oz at December 2013 and again to US$1,117/oz by the end of 2015. As a result 10 major producers have reported impairments of US$60 billion - affecting the liquidity of some of these companies.