The murmurs that the world is running out of gold deposits have grown louder in the past two years... Gold production reaching its peak levels is nothing new. The production of the yellow metal has reached its highest levels on at least four occasions in the past before witnessing sharp declines.

But many say there is something that makes the current gold peak stand out: There is simply no new major gold deposit left to be discovered.


Gold has been hovering around the psychological level of $1,300 an ounce since the beginning of this year -- a far cry from the highs of $1,800 an ounce witnessed in 2011-12. Analysts estimate that a minimum price of $1,500 per ounce is needed to maintain current production levels.


The prospective impact of a lack of "world class" discoveries on future gold production can be gauged from the fact that such mines account for nearly half of the global gold production today.

The average grade of the new gold deposits -- the amount of gold that can be extracted per ton -- has also been declining. The average mine grade has fallen from over 10 gram per ton in the early 1970s to around 1.4 grams per ton today, according to Metals Focus, a precious metals consultancy.


Analysts expect gold prices to rise in the longer term as gold mine supply struggles to expand. High prices and technological advancements are expected to push miners to explore new frontiers for the precious metal, including the seabed and possibly even asteroids.


"In future most of the gold supply will come from recycling and not mining," Miller said.

The World Gold Council expects the demand for gold in jewelry to increase over the next 30 years "in a richer, more middle-class, connected world."

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