The latest figures from the GFMS Gold Survey underpin what local analysts have been saying about the South African gold industry: costs are spiralling, grades are falling and the attractiveness of gold firms with high local exposure versus peers with offshore investments or none at all is limited. For Peter Steenkamp, CE of Harmony Gold, to talk of a "near-death experience" for the group several years ago and the effort used to bring it back from the brink is not an exaggeration in what is becoming an increasingly difficult sector.There are challenges around the world with mining, particularly gold, where no large new deposits have been found to replace the annual depletion of gold. In 2016, the world’s gold mines generated 3,232 tonnes of gold and look to be on track for a similar number in 2017. Globally, mining companies are facing cost pressures, with the latest figures from GFMS showing all-in sustaining costs increasing to an average $874/oz for the first half of 2017 compared...

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