Newmont CEO sees gold at $1,025-$1,250 in 2010

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp NEM.N CEO Richard O'Brien forecast the gold price to range between $1,025 and $1,250 an ounce this year, though he said it could dip below the lower level briefly.

O’Brien, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, also forecast that the price would in the longer term rise to $1,250 to $1,500 an ounce. The spot gold price was last quoted at around $1,092 an ounce.

He said in an interview with Reuters that any declines below $1,025 an ounce would not be sustainable because of underlying demand for the precious metal, including its use as an inflation hedge and a currency of last resort.

Earlier, the chairman of Canada's Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO Peter Munk said he also expected the gold price to trend higher in the longer run. [nLDE60Q1TS]

Barrick and U.S.-based Newmont are the world’s No.1 and No.2 gold producers respectively.

Reporting by Martin Howell; Editing by Hans Peters