22 April 2006

Oxiana Says Gold May Beat Record

=DJ UPDATE: Australia's Oxiana Says Gold May Beat Record: "MELBOURNE (Dow Jones)--Gold may burst through its all-time high of US$850 an ounce as investors look for a safe haven from inflation and geopolitical tension, Australian gold and copper miner Oxiana Ltd. (OXR.AU) said Wednesday.

Copper and zinc prices, both hitting records this week, are still relatively cheap and will also likely continue to surge skyward, Oxiana Managing Director Owen Hegarty told reporters on a conference call.

The comments came as Oxiana shares surged 7.7% to close at a record A$3.07, spurred by all-time high copper and zinc prices and gold, which hit a new 25-year high of US$624.80 an ounce in Asia earlier Wednesday.

'I don't think there's any doubt gold will keep moving in that very strong, buoyant direction,' Hegarty said. 'The reason people buy it, for an inflation hedge, for a political hedge, or (a hedge against falls in) the U.S. currency,' are all occurring, Hegarty said. 'I wouldn't be surprised if it smashed through its previous record of early US$800s,' an ounce, he said.

Hegarty said copper and zinc prices, already at records, aren't as expensive as they have been when inflation is taken into account.

'There's no reason why it (copper) can't keep going upwards and the same with zinc,' Hegarty said. 'Given the supply and demand fundamentals at the moment, when you think of the amount of work that actually goes into producing a pound of zinc and a pound of copper, they're probably still fairly cheap.'

Oxiana's share gains came even though it will likely produce less gold from its Sepon mine in Laos than previously expected.

The mine is now forecast to produce 170,000 ounces thi"

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