A pile of gold bars in the Czech National Bank in Prague. REUTERS/Petr Josek
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The shoppers thronging Harrods department store in London love a bargain as much as anyone, but in one corner of the second-floor the prices have already risen 19 per cent this year.These diverse parts of the gold industry are revelling in the strongest opening to a year for more than three decades, with the gold price hitting a 13-month high of $1,283 per troy ounce yesterday, raising hopes of an end to a damaging downturn for the sector.According to Deutsche Bank analysts, writedowns from just the four leading North American miners – Barrick, Newmont Mining, Goldcorp and Kinross – add up to $57bn over the past five years.Dividends have been scrapped or cut, by gold producers as well as the bigger diversified miners.Deutsche analysts say the big four North American gold miners have just 15 years of reserves, in effect meaning they have not replaced the last two years of production.
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