RBC Capital Markets held its fifth annual Gold Conference at Claridge’s in London yesterday. The conference brought together senior executives from the industry’s leading mining and production companies and addressed the latest issues to impact the sector. Opening the conference, Doug Guzman, Head of Global Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets, said: “As the global economy recovers from a recession, second only to that of 1929, we are truly at a remarkable time in the gold market. Compared to our first London conference in 2005 when gold was $468/oz, gold is now at an all time high of $1,117/oz.“Whether the gold price has risen to all time highs in response to investors looking for safe haven investments, or as gold prices respond to the monetary and fiscal stimulus being applied by central bankers and governments, investors have benefited from holdings in physical gold and gold stocks. At RBC, we expect gold to continue to benefit from this stimulus and trade up to the $1,200 level late this year or early 2010. ”Aaron Regent, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barrick Gold was among the speakers sharing insights at RBC Capital Markets’ Gold Conference. Regent said: “Our portfolio of operations is on track to meet our production and cost targets for 2009 and we continue to expect our gold production to increase and our cash costs to decrease in 2010 as we start to benefit from our new generation of low cost mines. In addition to our continued focus on meeting our operating objectives, Barrick has recently taken a number of important steps to enhance its strategic positioning in a strong gold price environment. We have dealt decisively with our gold hedges, which will be completely eliminated within 12 months. We also increased our exposure to metal prices by monetising part of the silver stream at Pascua-Lama, which provided additional financial capacity to purchase 70% of El Morro, adding another high quality gold-copper asset to our project pipeline.”Also speaking was Evgueni Ivanov, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus Gold, who said: “Polyus is currently one of the world’s leaders in terms of capacities additions, and we have a massive pipeline of projects, aiming at entering the global top five of gold producers. The growth of the metal production is ready to start in 2009, with the expected total output of gold at 1.3 Moz.”Graham Briggs, Chief Executive Officer, Harmony Gold Mining also attended. He said: “The first quarter of FY10 marked the start of Harmony’s ‘Four-phase Growth Path’, the objective of which is to produce more ounces from those assets we have and to acquire further ounces through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.”Other companies sharing insights at the conference were, Agnico-Eagle Mines, AngloGold Ashanti Goldcorp, Franco-Nevada, Gold Fields, Goldcorp, Kinross Gold, Newcrest Mining Limited, Newmont Mining, Randgold Resources and Yamana Gold.To access the audio webcast, visit: http://www.wsw.com/webcast/rbc107/. The webcast will be available for 30 days after the conference.