PlacerGoldScience January 18, 2016core, geology, gold, yellow mining, yellow rush, lode gold, mining, placer, placer case 19 Comments

Is the civilization running the end of gold? That appears to be a usual theme in investment circles in recent years. This eye catching article on visual Capitalist approximates that we’ll be the end of gold by 2030. This article based top top a report from Goldman Sachs claims we’d hit “peak gold” in 2015, GoldCore.

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Peak gold is the exact same idea as top oil. Wherein the height is the moment when maximum human being production is reached and declines from climate on, eventually reaching zero production. Unequal oil though gold is not offered up in consumption. It is generally stashed away in a vault or worn as jewellery.

Estimates for all the yellow in the world mined to date hover approximately 165,000 metric tons. Some approximates go together high as 1 million tons however most professionals would agree that under 200,000 is accurate. World gold gives are complicated to quantify. The is because gold reserves room not constantly reported accurately. End 50% that gold above ground is provided for jewellery which renders it complicated to track. Gold rings, necklaces and such can readjust hands without any records. Around 35% is stored as bullion for investments and also reserves. Big holders of gold offer misleading numbers concerning their reserves, presumably for protection reasons however who knows?


The unified States, Germany, Italy and France are the worlds largest holders of gold respectively. Each has actually their re-publishing of debate surrounding their asserted gold deposits. There room conspiracy theories about the amount of gold stored in fort Knox. Some believe it is empty and the federal government is just pretending its complete of gold. Without seeing it for ourselves we’ll just have to accept the expose numbers.

To further include uncertainty to an international gold production small scale miners perform not commonly report their take. This is specifically true in 3rd world countries. A many gold is mined in this way, generally placer however hard rock together well.


How lot gold is left in the ground? Nobody yes, really knows. Mining suppliers of every sizes invest their exploration budget plan to sketch potential deposits. They space a lengthy ways indigenous mapping the entire earth. The top gold estimates are based on proven and also indicated make reservation that room reported by public mining companies.

There is no shortage of gold on earth. The trouble is that it is much deeper 보다 we have the right to mine. Existing scientific theories estimate that over there is sufficient gold in the main point to cover the surface of the earth with a 4 meter thick layer of pure gold. The density of the main point is measure up using numerous techniques including seismic geophysics. Seismic waves space measured from earthquakes anywhere the world. The wave properties change as castle pass v the liquid external core and also the super thick inner core. S-waves can’t travel v liquid, the is just how the outer core is mapped. The density of the inner main point is better than steel at 5,515 kg/m3. Plainly there are huge amounts of substances that are heavier than iron to attain that density.


We are restricted to numerous thousand meters listed below the surface ar as far as mining is concerned. Check out this blog write-up on the beginnings of gold.

Lets perform a tiny math. The typical concentration of yellow in Earth’s tardy is approximated to be between 0.0011 ppm(source) and 0.0031 ppm(source). Now we deserve to calculate the volume of the portion of the tardy which have the right to potentially be mined. The deepest yellow mine in the human being is TauTona Mine in south Africa i m sorry reaches 3.9 kilometers listed below ground. The TauTona mine, activate by AngloGold Ashanti, is a yellow mine so its a an excellent yard rod for how deep we deserve to go.

The volume that the planet (approximated together a sphere) is 1,086,832,411,937 cubic kilometres. The calculate volume for the earth with 4km stripped off the top is 1,084,788,886,213 km3. Subtracting the two and also using the average abundance of 0.0031 ppm us arrive at 6.3 billion cubic meter of gold in the top 4km of the crust. One more calculation, gold has a known density of 19.3 tons per m3. Which provides us a full mass of 122,264,143,828 or 122 exchange rate metric tons. The is a many gold.


Our calculated estimate of 122 exchange rate metric tons of theoretical gold includes the entire surface that the earth. At this time we room not fitted to mine the oceans, although technology is advancing quickly. Examine out this write-up on sub-sea mining robots, LINK. The same processes that accumulate gold into deposits occur in the ocean just as they carry out on land. Through 71% of the surface covered by ocean that is a far-ranging area that is yet to it is in explored.

Lets readjust our calculation to account for only continental land which deserve to be mined v today’s technology. For this reason by subtracting the oceans we are left with 35 billion lots of yellow on dried land.

Global production throughout the entirety of human history is 165,000 metric lots as previously mentioned. So in a really theoretical sense we have actually mined 0.00047% the the world’s surface ar gold. That’s really encouraging. Return not every one of that gold is gathered in mineable deposits. Typically you need at least 0.5 ppm to do a mine profitable. Depending upon logistics, location, overburden and other determinants that reduced off grade deserve to rise rather steeply. So all of that 35 billion loads is not really obtainable to us.


Once yellow is uncovered it will be mined. We room too greedy to leaving it in the ground. Take a look in ~ the gold rushes of north America in between 1849-1900. There space some an excellent blog articles on the topic here, gold Rushes. The hoard of yellow hungry prospectors would descend top top a creek as soon as a discovery was made. They would relocate in, erect a town and mine it for all its worth. In ~ 2-3 years every the easy gold is gone and also only the tenacious miners would continue to be to mine the small gold. The rush would continue elsewhere and repeat the cycle. The same thing wake up with difficult rock mining however on a much longer time scale.

Peak yellow takes this phenomena right into account. Lot like top oil we’ve picked the short hanging fruit wherever it has actually been found. Gold is a small different since it is an extremely hard come find. Once it comes to oil make reservation the big ones rod out prefer a sick thumb.


Typically that takes about 20 years to walk from discovery to full scale yellow mine. That involves all the procedures to test a residential property using prospecting, geophysics, and diamond drilling. Delineating the reserve and also all the stuff the it takes to develop a modern mine (permits, studies, infrastructure and also so on).

With the present state of the mineral expedition that 20 year command time is going to come earlier to bite us. End the last couple of years mineral exploration has dropped off to the suggest that that is virtually non-existent. That seems counter-intuitive if we room running out of gold. Exploration is a high danger investment and also people don’t take the threat unless commodity prices space high. The great news is that as soon as prices spike again favor they walk in 2010 there will be a massive feeding frenzy.

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So we’ve approximated that within 4000m that the surface of Earth’s crust there is 35 billion tons of gold. Through a staying 87 billion under the ocean. Only a small part of the is focused enough come mine. That is a large world out there and we’ve just properly explored little pockets that it. The super basic stuff is mostly gone yet with advancements in an innovation and some resourcefulness its there for the taking. Because that those explorers who room willing to put on their thinking cap and step outside of their comfort zone over there is a bonanza waiting for us.