Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have we seen "peak gold"?

The journal Science asks the provocative question, "Is the world tottering on the precipice of peak gold?"

Their premise is that despite a quadrupling of investment in gold exploration and technological and scientific advances, production of gold in the past decade has plateaued. Gold discoveries of the 1980s led to record production in 2001, but the article notes that new discoveries are down 20% and current production levels are not sustainable. [Right, has gold production plateaued since 2001? Credit, copyright Minex Consulting as published in Science]

Optimists counter that when gold prices rise, they lead to "new territory opened to mining or new technology" to make it easier to find or process gold ore.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:39 PM

    It would be interesting to know how the source of gold has changed. I wouldn't bet against an increase in gold extraction as a secondary mineral in the hunt for rare earths or copper.

    Though, if we're going to hit a peak anything, I'm glad it's gold and not something more critical.