Talking points: Gold Coast v Richmond

1. Third time lucky
The Tigers’ three-year arrangement to play ‘home’ games in Cairns has been an unhappy one, but it finally drew premiership points after losses in 2011 and 2012. With 60,000 members who don’t want to see another game sold away from the MCG, Richmond’s dalliance with Cairns appears over. 11,197 locals voted with their feet, however, and are clearly keen for an annual match in northern Queensland. It is possible another Melbourne club could make the trip north to play a ‘home’ game against the Suns from next year.

See Video Click Here…

2. Thompson down
Gold Coast key defender Rory Thompson suffered a suspected shoulder injury early in the third quarter when he collided with Richmond midfielder Matthew Arnot. A shining light for the Suns this year, Thompson had kept opponent Jack Riewoldt goalless and to just two marks when injury struck, leaving the ground on a stretcher. The 22-year-old has been a standout in the Suns’ backline this year, playing on the opposition’s most dangerous forward and holding his own against Nick Riewoldt, Lance Franklin and Tom Hawkins.

3. Beautiful Cairns, ugly footy
The conditions at Cazaly Stadium would have taken some adjusting to for the Tigers and the footy wasn’t attractive. A stiff breeze at the open ground favoured the northern ‘Karmichael’ end and it played a prominent role. Gold Coast won the toss and kicked with the wind, kicking three goals to one with the Tigers flooding back in numbers to limit the damage. Richmond got an identical result in the second quarter before a wet weather slog in the second half with just four goals kicked after the main break as the contest descended in quality.

4. Edwards goes back and Grigg gets the vest
Aaron Edwards has made his name as a lead-up forward and it’s the role he’s played since coming into the Richmond line-up. On Saturday night, however, he was sent back, playing on small forward Aaron Hall before he was substituted out of the game at three-quarter time. Starting in the green vest was Shaun Grigg, who seemed a strange choice. The hard running midfielder has averaged 21.9 disposals this season, ranked No.4 at the club. His loss was Matt White‘s gain, however, with the speedster playing a rare full game.

5. Ablett not shining a good sign for Suns
It’s a sign of Gary Ablett‘s standing that 26 possessions, including five clearances and seven inside 50s, is a quiet night. Daniel Jackson (24, eight clearances and two goals) took the points on Saturday night, but Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna wasn’t fussed. “Obviously he didn’t stand out … with 30 possessions and three goals like he normally does,” the coach said. “I like to think the team’s growing up around him. We were competitive today and he doesn’t have a good game, I think that’s a good sign. We can’t just keep expecting him to do everything.


South African gold output continues to fall – how much further?

LONDON (Mineweb) -

How the mighty have fallen! Not so long ago South Africa dominated global gold output with the rest coming nowhere in comparison, but the country’s gold output has been on the decline since the 1970s.

It fell to fifth largest gold producer in 2012 when it was overtaken by Russia and on the latest output figures the country has drifted downwards towards being now only the world’s sixth largest gold producer, having been overtaken by Peru as well – however that is on production so far this year.

In yesterday’s publication of minerals output and revenues, Statistics South Africa noted that the country’s gold output fell again in May commenting that its ‘overall mining production decreased by 0.7% year-on-year in May.The largest negative growth rates were recorded for ‘other’ metallic minerals (-32.3%), diamonds (-19.7%) and gold (-14,6%). The main contributor to the 0.7% decrease was gold (contributing -2.4 percentage points). Manganese ore (contributing 1.5 percentage points) was a significant positive contributor.’

But will there be any recovery in South African gold production ahead? The short answer is that, barring a huge gold price increase, the country’s gold output will likely continue to decline at a rapid rate.

South Africa has some of the world’s highest cost producing gold mines – a recent estimate has suggested that at current gold prices around half the industry is operating at a loss – and this would suggest that gold production could continue to decrease at an escalating rate as companies will no longer be able to afford to keep unprofitable mines and shafts open.

Add to this the pressures on the companies from massive wage demands brought on by mining union competition for membership between the NUM and AMCU, and this is a recipe for the potential annihilation of the country’s gold mining sector in its current form.

Some of the production fall may be mitigated, though, by selective mining of higher grade ore to try and maintain profitability at the expense of mine longevity.

South Africa’s gold sector though is not the only part of the country’s vitally important mining industry to be affected. The platinum miners are facing many of the same problems as the gold sector although this year’s figures may end up being a little better than in 2012 given the levels of labour disruption that year.

South Africa’s gold sales have now for some time lost their dominant position in terms of revenue. The country’s No.1 revenue earner nowadays, according to Statistics South Africa, is coal, followed by platinum group metals with gold languishing in third place – and could even be knocked into fourth place by iron ore sales if the production decline continues.

The relative figures in terms of unadjusted sales in April – the latest available – according to Statistics South Africa are as follows:

Metal Mineral Sales Value (million ZAR) Sales Value (million US$)
Coal 8 506.6 847.1
Platinum Group 5 612.6 558.9
Gold 4 877.6 485.6
Iron Ore 4 875.3 485.4

Between them these four accounted for almost 80% of the total value of South African metals and minerals sales in April.

The South African government has to be particularly concerned about the fall off in the volume and value of the minerals produced, particularly with regard to gold and pgms, given that it is very much a resource economy and heavily dependent on the sector for its export earnings. Both the gold and platinum sectors are in crisis and with the mining unions set on what the industry will see as untenable demands and prone to unacceptable militancy and inter-union rivalries, things may well get worse before they get better.


5 Incredible Charts Covering Gold To The “Surprise Index”

Today the man who provides macro research and commentary to many of the largest financial institutions and top hedge funds around the world sent KWN 5 incredible charts illustrating covering everything from gold to the “surprise index.” Eric Pomboy, who is founder of Meridian Macro Research, and whose sister Stephanie Pomboy appears in Barrons, also provided tremendous commentary to go along with the 5 stunning charts, as well as what all of this means going forward.

By Eric Pomboy Meridian Macro Research

July 10 (King World News) – Gold & Silver Charts Of The Day

“The COT data for week ending 7/2 show a 35% reduction in Net Commercial Position to ‐22,776 contracts … the least Net Short reading since Jan 8, 2002 when gold was $279/oz. With a Net Long reading not far off, a significant upside reversal for gold is clearly in the works.

Regarding Friday’s Payroll Report, things are not as rosy as the headline data suggest. First, 195k jobs added sounds like a solid number … but it’s only 79k jobs above the (6mo. average) of Population Growth. Second, if you look at the gap between U6 and U3 number of unemployed (chart below), the monthly change was a staggering +786k persons … the largest monthly jump since December 2008 (+800k), thus the rise in U6 rate from 13.8% to 14.3%.

Third (next chart), the number of full‐time employed dropped by ‐240k, bringing full‐time employed as % of Total Labor Force to 74.4% … still in historically low territory and indicative of a very uneven labor force (full/part time) composition. In the last 3.5 years, 5.43 million full‐time jobs have been created. In order to reach a more ‘ideal’ 79‐80% over the next 4 years (factoring‐in population growth), we’d have to create about 12 million full‐time jobs, or 250k jobs per month … which seems highly improbable. Considering full‐ time jobs dropped ‐240k and part‐time jobs jumped +360k for June, we’re clearly moving in the wrong direction.

Also, the total of Non‐Full Time employed is at a fresh historic high as of the June data…up +400k to over 28 million people. The takeaway from these numbers is: we could get to 6.5% (or even 5.5% or lower) headline U3 unemployment rate in the next few years, yet based almost entirely on part‐time job creation. None of this is good news, as quality of jobs is clearly more important than quantity….