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February 5, 2018

Rand’s rally takes the shine off a strong gold price for SA miners

For South African gold miners, it’s both the best and worst of times.

The metal started the year with a bang, rising 4% so far and trading near the highest since August 2016.

But an equally impressive rally in the rand means that SA-focused producers are likely to miss out on the party.

Because mining companies pay most of their expenses in local currency, a stronger rand squeezes profit margins and can render some operations unprofitable.

Many of SA’s gold mines date back to the 1950s and 1960s, and much of the easily accessible metal has been exhausted, while labour-intensive mining methods compound the effect of currency moves.

“With the [...]

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