“I think ultimately we are going to see gold go back up and challenge the highest we saw a couple of years ago and certainly push up through US$1,500 an ounce within the next year,” the company’s chief executive Jamie Sokalsky told Bloomberg.
“Within two or three years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see gold back up towards U$2,000.”
The Canadian gold producer could do with some good news after last month posting a loss and US$2.8bn write-down for the fourth quarter as it lowered its gold reserves.
Estimated gold reserves were cut to 104.1 million ounces (Moz) from 140.2Moz the previous year as the miner slashed its price assumption for the metal to US$1,100/oz from US$1,500.
Gold prices dropped 28% last year, the biggest annual decline since 1981, to around US$1,200/oz and the metal’s poor performance put an end to 12 consecutive years of gains.
Gold companies, which calculate their reserves and resources based on long-term gold price assumptions and current cost estimates, typically revise their assumptions annually at the start of the year.
Many producers have been forced to take billion dollar write downs after reducing their price assumptions for reserves in the ground.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), the world’s second-biggest gold producer, took a US$1.6bn write down in the fourth quarter after cutting its gold price assumption by US$100 to US$1,300/oz.
Rising gold prices over the last few years also encouraged many miners to invest in more expensive projects, putting further pressure on costs.
Gold prices have increased 11% this year to around US$1,330/oz so still have some way to go before Sokalsky’s prediction comes true.