Reflecting an 85% decline in the actual amount of gold discovered worldwide over the past decade and a 60% decline in the amount of capital expenditure undertaken by the gold industry over the past four years, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the world's overall gold reserves have slipped substantially since the price of gold peaked above $1900/oz during 2011. Major producers’ reserves have in fact slipped by 40% since 2011 - reflecting fewer discoveries, reduced mine life and a lower gold price. One of the biggest issues facing the gold industry recently has been a lack of 'R&D' - which in mining terms means exploration. Companies have preferred to take the safer route and buy 'expensive' ounces to bolster their in-house Reserves, rather than explore for them. This means that from an industry perspective, whilst a lot of deal-making, acquisitions and corporate activity have taken place, not much in the way of new Reserve ounces have been added - certainly not enough to replenish reserves to account for growing demand in Asia.
I have been a senior resources analyst following the fortunes of the mining and energy sectors for the past 25 years - previously working with stockbroker Intersuisse and financial group Fat Prophets. I am also Executive Director, Mining & Metals...
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