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As a Alternative Investments (GOLD) portfolio managerAmong the negative factors, the impact of the pandemic itself plus related disruptions—COVID-19restrictions imposed by governments, supply shortages, and a lack of transportation—have hikedcosts at certain operations and reduced gold-mine supply. These problems are having a significantimpact: overall, as much as eight million ounces (7 percent of global mine supply) of annualized goldproduction are at risk from COVID-19-related disruptions. As a result, unit costs could increase bysome 1 to 3 percent.Over the short term, the mining companies that most avoid or contain the spread of the virusthroughout their operations while maintaining production levels will emerge with a stronger cashposition as they take advantage of high price levels and strong margins. In the longer term, thestrong price of gold provides a window for mergers and acquisitions to consolidate the industry,