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Article: World Gold Council Warns: Gold Is Becoming Increasingly Scarce

World Gold Council Warns: Gold Is Becoming Increasingly Scarce

World Gold Council Warns: Gold Is Becoming Increasingly Scarce

The World Gold Council (WGC) has reported significant challenges facing the gold mining industry, as finding new supplies of the precious yellow metal becomes increasingly difficult.

"We observed record mine production in the first quarter of 2024, a 4% increase from last year. However, overall mine production peaked around 2016-2018 and has not seen significant growth since", stated John Reade, head of the WGC.
Data from the International Trade Association shows that mining production rose by just 0.5% in 2023 compared to the previous year.

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In 2022, growth was 1.35%, and in 2021 it was 2.7%. Notably, global gold production fell by 1% in 2020, marking the first decline in a decade, according to CNBC.

"The story is that after a decade of rapid growth starting around 2008, the mining industry is now struggling to maintain sustained production growth", Reade explained.

Why Is More Difficult To Find New Gold Deposits
According to John Reade, globally, new gold deposits are becoming harder to find because many of the most promising areas have already been explored.

He added that large-scale gold mining is capital-intensive and requires significant investment in exploration and development, with an average of 10 to 20 years needed before a mine becomes operational, according to the WGC.

Even at the exploration stage, the chances of a discovery turning into a productive mine are low, with only about 10% of the world's gold discoveries containing enough metal to justify mining.

Beyond finding gold, obtaining government permits has become increasingly challenging and time-consuming, Reade noted. Securing the necessary licenses and permits before mining operations begin can take several years.

Additionally, many mining projects are located in remote areas that require substantial infrastructure development, such as roads, electricity, and water, which significantly increases the cost of building and operating these mines, Reade said.

"It's becoming more difficult to find gold, obtain permits, secure financing, and operate mines", he concluded.

Gold prices have stabilized after reaching record highs in recent months, buoyed by strong demand from China. Gold is currently trading at $2,294.3 per ounce.
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