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Higher gold prices to boost Maaden results

Manama, October 28, 2009

State-controlled minerals firm Saudi Arabian Mining (Maaden) expects high gold prices to be a boon for fourth-quarter results, the company’s chief executive has said.

“I think the results will be positive because of the high gold price,” Abdullah Dabbagh said on the sidelines of a mining event in Bahrain when asked about his outlook for fourth quarter earnings, although he declined to say whether it would beat the same quarter last year.

Spot gold prices hit a record high earlier this month at just over $1,070 an ounce.

Investors have used gold as a safe haven during the financial crisis and economic downturn.

Higher gold revenues contributed to higher operating income for the company in the third quarter. Operating profit came in at SR21 million ($5.60 million) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of SR28 million in the same quarter last year.

Dabbagh said Maaden’s spending power has diminished in the wake of the global economic crisis, prompting the firm to seek financing from foreign players.

“After the financial crisis, we developed a new unit within our company to look out for outside investors who would be interested in exploration,” said Dabbagh.

The firm has extracted 8.5 million ounces of gold in the kingdom over the past six years and there is scope for further output with more unexplored sites, he added.

“The potential is really big,” he said, adding that the company is in talks with a few international players but nothing has been finalised.-Reuters




Tags: Maaden | Minerals | Saudi Arabian Mining |

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