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The Safety of Gold

Terrorism fears and weakening dollar keep gold companies busy...

Gold prices are predicted to reach a 16-year high of $ 450 an ounce by mid-2004, benefiting from continuing terrorism fears and the weak dollar. Tensions over future attacks on the US and ongoing instability in Iraq mean investors are looking to gold as a safe haven. Gold prices rose by 14% in 2003.

In such a market, it's no surprise gold producers are keeping busy. For example, Tanzania, already Africa's third largest gold producer, is preparing to open its sixth gold mine. Canada's Barrick Gold, the world's third largest bullion producer, is putting $ 50m into the construction of the Tulawaka mine on the south-west shore of Lake Victoria. Production of some 100,000oz a year is scheduled to start in early 2005. The mine will have a life span of about five years, with the possibility of underground work after that.

Meanwhile, South Africa's Gold Fields is considering entering into a joint venture with African Eagle in another Lake Victoria project in Miyabi where drilling to quantify resources is ongoing.