Re-evaluating the hedge book



Gold mining companies have been under intense pressure from shareholders to reduce their hedge books over the past five years. Since a spike in prices in 1999, investors have been bullying mining firms to increase their direct exposure to gold, pressure that intensified after Ghana-based Ashanti Goldfields revealed a hefty mark-to-market loss on its derivatives portfolio of $231 million in 1999.

Since then, mining companies led by Ashanti, Australia's Newcrest Mining and Toronto-based Barrick

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