• 50 mins UK On Track To Approve Construction of “Mini” Nuclear Reactors
  • 5 hours LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says
  • 7 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 10 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 12 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 13 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 4 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 4 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 6 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 6 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 7 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 7 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
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