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Kinross eyes assets in Americas, Russia and Ghana

03 december 2009

Kinross Gold could seek to buy assets in North and South America, Russia and Ghana, Chief Executive Tye Burt said on Tuesday, but it will stay out of riskier countries such as China, which is currently the world's top gold producer, Reuters reported.
"There are a few countries that are a no go," Burt said at an investment conference in New York.
"Venezuela, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, countries where we see too much political risk, too much security risk."
Instead, Toronto-based Kinross will continue to build on its operations spread throughout the Americas, and around its Kupol mine in eastern Russia.
Canada's Eldorado Gold will soon become the top foreign gold miner in China when it completes its agreed takeover of Australia's Sino Gold.
Burt also singled out Ghana as a country he would like to operate in.
"Canada and the U.S. are very high on our radar screen, but valuations today in this frothy market make it difficult to find something that's accretive," he said.
Speaking on a day when gold prices topped $1,200 an ounce for the first time, Burt said declining global gold production and a weakening U.S. dollar are setting up a "perfect storm" for gold prices.
"Producers are going to have to struggle to find new acquisitions, new ounces, and to go to new geographies," he said, pointing out that gold production peaked in 2001 and has been declining ever since.
Gold producers, meanwhile, have been trumpeting the industry's declining production profile as a reason for optimism on the price.
Kinross has increased its output steadily over the past few years, but was forced earlier this year to reduce its 2009 production forecast – it now sees output of 2.2 million gold equivalent ounces – due in part to problems ramping up its expanded Paracatu mine in Brazil.
Burt said the mine, which had been expected to be running full tilt about now, should produce at a reduced rate of around 420,000 ounces next year.
The company expects to release its 2010 production forecasts in January.