first_imgDespite the gradual recovery of global gold prices so far this year, during the first quarter of 2016 most gold producers continued their efforts to reduce all-in sustaining costs (AISC). The major producers of gold gained an added advantage due to strengthening of the US dollar against local currencies and lower global fuel prices.The top 17 publicly listed gold companies that reported AISC produced gold at a weighted-average cost of $833/oz in the first quarter, according to data compiled by SNL Metals & Mining.Barrick Gold Corp had the quarter’s lowest AISC at $706/oz of gold produced, $130/oz less than the group median of $836/oz. Barrick primarily benefited from operating and capital-cost control initiatives, and from lower fuel prices and foreign exchange gains.Northern Star Resources was next lowest with an AISC of $711/oz. The March quarter AISC was a 5% decline from the previous quarter and a 30% drop from the year-ago quarter, mainly attributable to lower contracting, labour and supply rates that became effective Jan. 1, 2016.Newcrest Mining achieved the third-lowest AISC at $723/oz sold on a consolidated weighted basis. The quarter’s low cost was attributed to high production at the Cadia Hill mine and a significant decrease in AISC at the Hidden Valley mine. At the end of the first quarter, Newcrest revised its AISC guidance range for fiscal 2016 to $1.88 billion to $1.98 billion from $1.90 billion to $2.05 billion previously.At the other end of the scale, Canada-based IAMGOLD reported the highest AISC compared with its peers, at $1,084/oz of gold sold. Although the company’s March quarter AISC was 3% lower than the year-ago quarter, it was high compared with its peers due to an increase in sustaining capital and lower sales.Other companies with high AISC were Centerra Gold and Gold Field, with AISC of $1,015/oz and $961/oz respectively.Comparing gold producers based on first-quarter profit margin, Barrick Gold again led the pack with a margin of 40.2%, well above the group’s weighted average of 29.8%. Northern Star Resources and  Compania de Minas Buenaventura also stood out with a margin of 39.9% and 39.1% respectively.Again at the bottom of the scale, IAMGOLD had by far the lowest profit margin at 8.8%, or $104/oz. Centerra Gold and Acacia Mining recorded the second- and third-lowest profit margins compared with the group at 14.4% and 16.6%, respectively.last_img