GOLD producers will need time to change their focus from rampant growth to maximising shareholder returns, and frustrated investors may need to be patient, the Perseus Mining boss, Mark Calderwood, says.
Responding to this week's criticism of the gold sector from the world's most influential mining investor, BlackRock's Evy Hambro, Mr Calderwood said there had been a significant change in what shareholders were seeking from their investment.
Mr Hambro told a conference in London that goldminers were guilty of vast value destruction and needed to set up an industry-wide metric for measuring, comparing and controlling cost inflation on projects.
Speaking at the Melbourne Mining Club on Thursday, Mr Calderwood acknowledged the concerns but noted it was hard to turn an operation around overnight.
''There has been a quantum change in attitude from shareholders to the boardroom, and it has gone from people wanting growth and ounces and production at all costs … to now everyone wants to focus on returns, not necessarily growth,'' he said.
''It will take a while: the bigger the company, the longer it takes … boards are reacting to it now and you will see some results in the next year or two.''