LIVE Gold Prices $  | E-Mail Subscriptions | Update GoldSeek | GoldSeek Radio 

Commentary : Gold Review : Markets : News Wire : Quotes : Silver : Stocks - Main Page 

 GoldSeek.com >> News >> Story  Disclaimer 
 
Latest Headlines

COT Gold, Silver and US Dollar Index Report - August 23, 2019
By: GoldSeek.com

Gold Mid-Tiers’ Q2’19 Fundamentals
By: Adam Hamilton, Zeal Research

Trump Floats Payroll & Capital Gains Tax Cues to Forestall Recession
By: Mike Gleason

How’s That Recession Coming, Dave?
By: David Haggith

Precious Metals Update Video: Jackson Hole Powell's Speech in focus today, Gold bias is up
By: Ira Epstein

Seven Key Words That Explain "Stupidly High" Prices
By: Daniel R. Amerman

Gold, Silver, Mining Stocks: Get Ready For A Huge Ride Higher
By: Dave Kranzler

On The Job Training
By: Ted Butler

Precious Metals Update Video: FOMC minutes: What's going on?
By: Ira Epstein

Economist Lays Out the Next Step to Wonderland for the Fed
By: Gary Tanashian

 
Search

GoldSeek Web

 
Peak Gold and the Coming Supply Crunch


 -- Published: Thursday, 31 January 2019 | Print  | Disqus 

By: Stefan Gleason, Money Metals

During the lackluster and otherwise unremarkable trading of 2018, a hugely important development took place in the precious metals markets. Gold production, in the estimation of some top industry insiders, peaked.

Peak gold represents the point at which the total number of ounces being pulled out of the ground by miners reaches a maximum.

It doesn’t necessarily mean gold production will suffer a precipitous fall. But it does mean the mining industry lacks the capacity to ramp up production in order to meet rising global demand and even higher prices would not make it happen.

One of the leading proponents of the peak gold thesis is Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp (which was recently acquired by Newmont Mining to become the world’s biggest gold company).

Telfer remarked in 2018, “In my life, gold produced from mines has gone up pretty steadily for 40 years. Well, either this year it starts to go down, or next year it starts to go down, or it’s already going down… We’re right at peak gold here.”

We’ll soon find out whether his call for gold production to fall in 2019 pans out. If it does, the implications for precious metals investors are enormous.

The concept of peak gold is controversial, to be sure.

Skeptics point to the thwarting of peak oil over the past decade. Just as technological breakthroughs in fracking and horizontal drilling caused an unexpected surge in crude oil supplies, could not advances in gold mining techniques also lead to an unforeseen supply surge?

When human ingenuity combines with the right market incentives, nothing can be ruled out. But unlike crude oil which is a byproduct of decayed living organisms and exists in various grades all over the world, gold is a basic element that came to us from exploding stars billions of years ago.

Top 5 Gold Miners Production 2017 vs 2018

The amount of gold in earth’s crust is fixed. By contrast, oil and other hydrocarbons can be produced synthetically from renewable biomass.

Perhaps one day we’ll mine for gold in space or generate it in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. Theoretically, it’s possible. Practically, there’s no prospect of these unconventional methods of boosting earth’s gold reserves becoming economically viable in our lifetimes. It would take a true “moon shot” in the gold price and/or a technological breakthrough that might be decades away from coming to fruition.

In the meantime, the gold mining industry is experiencing a major wave of consolidation.

Last year Barrick Gold and Randgold merged. This year Newmont Mining acquired Goldcorp. Many lesser known junior mining and exploration companies have been or may soon be gobbled up by senior producers looking for an economical way to grow their reserves.

Developing new mines is expensive, time consuming, and risky.

It’s difficult these days for the majors to even identify viable new projects that would add significantly to their asset base. As new discoveries shrink, many have decided it makes more sense to buy up the assets of smaller competitors while they are on sale.

It may prove beneficial to corporate bottom lines, but M&A activity doesn’t necessarily translate into more ounces being pulled out of the ground on an industry-wide basis. To the contrary, it’s a sign that mining companies aren’t keen on investing in the exploration and development of new mines.

After years of “high grading” – processing the easier to get, higher quality deposits first – future gold extraction costs could get progressively steeper for existing major mines.

Even at $1,300 an ounce, gold prices aren’t high enough to generate attractive returns on investment. Many gold mining companies are barely breaking even after their all-in costs are considered.

Gold/Silver Miners

Canadian mid-tier producer Iamgold announced recently that it will halt construction at one of its gold projects in Ontario. Iamgold CEO Stephen J.J. Letwin said the company will “wait for improved, and sustainable, market conditions in order to proceed with construction.”

That’s just one example among many of why gold production could begin to taper off and decline overall in 2019.

Refinitiv GFMS analysts forecast gold mining output will decrease slightly this year – from approximately 3,282 tonnes in 2018 to 3,266 tonnes.

The expected fall-off may not be huge, but the wider impact on the precious metals markets very likely will be. With central bank buying continuing to be robust, jewelry demand in India back on the upswing, and investor interest returning amidst volatile financial markets, a slight decrease in production relative to rising demand — sets the stage for a rip-roaring secular bull market.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named "Best in the USA" by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, and Seeking Alpha.


| Digg This Article
 -- Published: Thursday, 31 January 2019 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

comments powered by Disqus



 



Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizeE-mail Link of Current PagePrinter Friendly PageReturn to GoldSeek.com

 news.goldseek.com >> Story

E-mail Page  | Print  | Disclaimer 


© 1995 - 2019



GoldSeek.com Supports Kiva.org

© GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC

The content on this site is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and is the property of GoldSeek.com and/or the providers of the content under license. By "content" we mean any information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on GoldSeek.com. This includes editorials, news, our writings, graphics, and any and all other features found on the site. Please contact us for any further information.

Live GoldSeek Visitor Map | Disclaimer


Map

The views contained here may not represent the views of GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC, its affiliates or advertisers. GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC makes no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of the information (including news, editorials, prices, statistics, analyses and the like) provided through its service. Any copying, reproduction and/or redistribution of any of the documents, data, content or materials contained on or within this website, without the express written consent of GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC, is strictly prohibited. In no event shall GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC or its affiliates be liable to any person for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided herein.