A report from ABN Amro Bank, VM Group, and Haliburton Mineral Services provides details on production costs in the major gold mining regions of the world. The report is based on cash costs per ounce of production from 111 gold mining companies operating a total of 274 mines. Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) are among the companies mentioned specifically in the report.
Cash costs include direct mining and processing expenses, other onsite charges, third-party smelting and refining charges, and royalties and taxes net of by-product credits. In the last full year's figures, the average cash cost of production was $620/ounce.
US gold production costs of $546/ounce are a little less than the world-wide average of $620 per ounce
This means that if Gold drops to $700, mines can cover all their mining and refining costs and still generate cash.
Gold crashed to $700 in 2008, and can easily do so again in 2013