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Gold prices suffered a dramatic loss on Thursday, falling to $US1775 ($2348) per ounce, as the United States federal reserve indicated a number of interest rate hikes by 2023.

The fall was the worst seen since the beginning of 2021 but was assumed to be a speculative dip, according to Reuters’ sources.

The price of gold is now at its lowest since early May, after a strong month saw it breach $US1900 ($2515) per ounce for the second time this year.

In iron ore news, benchmark 62 per cent Fe fines were down 3.2 per cent to $214 per tonne this week.

The price fall came as shipments rose from major suppliers in Australia and Brazil, up to more than 26 million tonnes.

These shipment levels came despite mega-producer Rio Tinto nearing its fifth week without a shipment from its Dampier berths.

Rio has the capacity to ship 45 million tonnes per year from its East Intercourse Island (EII) berths, but maintenance work has halted that capacity.

The other three largest iron ore producers – BHP, Fortescue Metals and Roy Hill – still managed to combine to ship 18.31 million deadweight tonnes in the week to June 12.

This figure was seven per cent above the average over the past year.

In June, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt put the success of Australia’s iron ore industry down to an optimisation of production costs.

“Australia’s iron ore miners are some of the most efficient in the world, delivering record volumes of high-quality Australian iron ore to major trading partners across the globe,” Pitt said.

“Our major miners have made a concerted effort to bring down production costs over the last 10 years, and those efforts are paying off.”