The decline reflected the skittishness of an industry that went on a buying spree in 2010 and 2011, when prices surged to records, and then got stuck with too much debt and huge writedowns after bullion tumbled, the wire service said.
The gold price shot up to just over US$1,900 an ounce in 2011 then dropped back towards $1,100/oz in late 2015.
It has since regained some lost ground and was worth around US$1,330/oz on the spot market earlier today.
Barrick Gold (CN:ABX) reported big asset writedowns from acquisitions in 2013, followed by other producers including Newmont Mining (US:NEM), Kinross Gold (CN:K) and Goldcorp (CN:G), Bloomberg noted.
Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo said this week the company was "done" with mergers and acquisitions, according to a report by Reuters, and would focus on building new mines at projects it owned and improving existing operations.
"We've sold what we're going to sell and we've bought what we're going to buy," Garofalo reportedly said at the miner's annual investor day.