The Gold Telegraph
MAY 7, 2018
Barring major new and unforeseen discoveries, we are heading into a long-term gold supply shortage.
Increased exploration spending has not resulted in additional supply, and gold’s longer-term sideways price trading is likely to exploration spending fatigue, exacerbating the imbalance.
The demand for gold is increasing, yet new discoveries of the precious metal have not kept pace with the demand. Funds for exploration are historically high, $54.3 billion, up 60 percent over the past 18 years.
The increased spending, however, has not produced the equivalent in new gold discoveries. During the past decade, 41 discoveries have resulted in a mere 215.5 million ounces of the precious metal.
Even counting recently discovered but unexplored mines, which may hold as-yet major discoveries, the total available amount of gold in these discoveries are not expected to surpass 363 million ounces over the next ten years.
Gold discoveries have followed a predictable pattern. 263 major gold discoveries have been made in the past 28 years, but half of those discoveries happened in the 1990s. This boom lasted until the turn of the century when the rate of discovery began to decline.
Only 16 discoveries were reported from 2000 to 2002, which produced 108.3 ounces of gold. That amount was below the average finds of the 1990s. This decline has continued, with both new discoveries and the amount of gold mined decreasing steadily. By 2010, only 18.6 million ounces of gold was discovered, a severe drop from the 61.5 ounces found in 2009.
Old sectors are being depleted, while active exploration for new discoveries has been slow. The amount of available gold has not met expectations and remains far below the 2009 high.