Gold prices have slipped below the $US1,800 ($2,436.45) per ounce resistance level, dropping 1.26 per cent to $US1,788.50/oz as vaccine hopes continue to weigh on the precious metal.

Rather controversially, HS Dent founder Harry Dent told Kitco News that while he expects gold to rally up to $US2,200/oz next year, he then expects it to crash back down to 2015 lows of about $US1,000/oz due to deflationary forces that will also impact on stocks.

However, he expects gold to embark on its strongest long-term boom ever seen in the next commodity cycle on the back of strong demand from Asia.

Other analysts believe that while gold would still rally this year, it was unlikely to break past $US1,900/oz.

One long-term believer is Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM). It’s formalising its joint venture with Greatland Gold for the mammoth Havieron gold-copper project.

Newcrest has already earned a 60 per cent interest in the project after meeting the Stage 3 expenditure requirement of $US45m.

The new JV agreement provides a formal framework beyond the existing farm-in agreement and facilitates the expansion of exploration and early works activities including the construction of a box cut and a decline.

Drilling at Havieron has been remarkably successful with the best intercept to date being 120.7m grading 9.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.18 per cent copper from a depth of 1,349.3m including 26.6m at 34g/t gold and 0.23 per cent copper from 1,384.4m.

Closing in on gold production

Laneway Resources (ASX:LNY) has trucked the first load of high-grade ore from its Agate Creek mine in North Queensland to the carbon-in-leach processing plant at the Lorena mine.

Since mining started a month ago, the company has stockpiled 3,000 tonnes of high grade ore grading about 6g/t gold with a further 5,900t of low grade (2.5g/t) ore also removed from the pit.

It expects that this production campaign will deliver positive cash flow during the March 2021 quarter.

This will contribute to the company’s ongoing exploration and appraisal of the broader Agate Creek project.