• 6 hours Oil Pares Gains After API Reports Surprise Crude Inventory Build
  • 7 hours Elon Musk Won’t Get Paid Unless Tesla Does “Extraordinarily Well”
  • 7 hours U.S. Regulators Keep Keystone Capacity Capped At 80 Percent
  • 8 hours Trump Signs Off On 30 Percent Tariff On Imported Solar Equipment
  • 10 hours Russian Funds May Invest In Aramco’s IPO To Boost Oil Ties
  • 11 hours IMF Raises Saudi Arabia Growth Outlook On Higher Oil Prices
  • 12 hours China Is World’s Number-2 In LNG Imports
  • 24 hours EIA Weekly Inventory Data Due Wednesday, Despite Govt. Shutdown
  • 1 day Oklahoma Rig Explodes, Leaving Five Missing
  • 1 day Lloyd’s Sees No Room For Coal In New Investment Strategy
  • 1 day Gunmen Kidnap Nigerian Oil Workers In Oil-Rich Delta Area
  • 1 day Libya’s NOC Restarts Oil Fields
  • 1 day US Orion To Develop Gas Field In Iraq
  • 4 days U.S. On Track To Unseat Saudi Arabia As No.2 Oil Producer In the World
  • 4 days Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 4 days Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 4 days Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 4 days Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 4 days TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 4 days Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 5 days Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 5 days Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 5 days Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 5 days OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 5 days Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 6 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 6 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 6 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 6 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 6 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 6 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 6 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 6 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 7 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 7 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 7 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 7 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
Alt Text

Did These Mining Giants Just Confirm The Next Gold Frontier?

After Ecuador’s President removed a…

Alt Text

Can Mali Maintain Its Gold Mining Status?

Mali could be about to…

Alt Text

Expect Mine Closures In This Key Gold Mining Nation

Major gold mining nation South…

Energy Digital

Energy Digital

Energy Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and all aspects of managing the environment.…

More Info

Recoverable Gold Resources to Run Out in 20 Years

Recoverable Gold Resources to Run Out in 20 Years

It seems we have been so caught up in the decline of oil reserves that another commodity—one that the mining industry has thrived on for centuries—is apparently even in more scarce supply.  Gold reserves are running surprisingly low, and analysts believe that recoverable resources could run out completely within 20 years.

A report written by gold mining analysts for Standard Chartered Bank cites U.S. Geological Survey estimates that at the end of 2010, global gold reserves were only 51,000 tonnes.  At the rate of production seen in 2010, this would translate to only 19.2 years of production.  Unfortunately, the report also shows that while exploration budgets have risen for major gold mining companies, it has failed to prevent an overall decline in the rate of new gold reserve discoveries.

"In response to escalating gold prices, exploration budgets for gold have been rising since 2002," the report notes.  "As a result of declining hit rate and cost inflation, the average discovery cost of primary gold found has seen a rising trend since 1960, which is evidence that good, large gold deposits are increasingly difficult to come by."

Moreover, higher spending toward gold exploration between 2000 and 2009 still saw an average discovery rate lower than the period of 1980 to 2000.

Standard Charter adds, "It is also worth highlighting that the average ore grades of new deposits discovered have declined noticeably in the past six decades."  In 1960 for example, one tonne of gold ore yielded 2.86 grams of gold.  In 2000, one tonne only yielded 1.37 grams of gold.  Now, the newest gold ore discoveries are yielding less than one gram per tonne of ore.  

This news may come as a shock to the mining industry, which may have to face the very real possibility of a non-existent gold mining sector in the next few decades.  What’s more concerning is that while gold may be running out, our need for it has increased dramatically, most notably in the continual advancement of computing technology.  Computers of all makes and models use gold in their circuitry for its malleable and non-corrosive qualities, and with demand for computing power only going up, the drop in gold supply may cause a ripple effect that could send shockwaves through the computer industry and other gold-reliant industries aside from just flashy jewelry outlets.

So what’s the best thing to do in such a situation?  Well, while the mining companies will undoubtedly continue pumping money into gold exploration, commodities traders and wise investors may want to revisit buying gold—solid, real gold.  That’s because at this rate of supply reduction over the next 20 years coupled with exponentially increasing demand from China and India, Standard Charter estimates that gold could be worth $5,000 an ounce in the not so distant future. 

By John Shimkus of Energy Digital




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News