Gold mine production has historically grown at about 1.5% a year, roughly the rate of population growth of the world. However new deposits and particularly new economic deposits have become increasingly rare. This raised the question of whether we are at or past peak gold output. This article will line out some of the areas affecting future outcomes.
Population Logistic Curve
Contrary to popular belief, populations do not grow exponentially but follow a logistics curve. That is passed a certain point, the rate of growth slows and the total population actually starts to plateau. This means if Gold production growth does slow, it may line up quite nicely with the change in the rate of population growth.
Less Economics Deposits
Hitting the zero band in interest rates may be bringing about the end of the post-Bretton-Woods US dollar credit standard. This could actually bring about a revaluing or maybe even a remonetization of gold and with it a price increase relative to other assets. This might actually make some deposits that were previously considered uneconomic actually viable, allowing them to be brought online. If you’re looking for a company with a possibly viable future project, do check out our friends at Nevada Mining Company.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), has often been seen at odds with mining. But as it starts to affect all businesses in the economy, one of the nice features of gold as commodity money, is that those same effects, affect the money supply as well. If the economy is constrained by ESG sentiment so is the money supply. This is not the case with fiat, credit or bitcoin.
The technology used to solve ESG compliance in mining, also present opportunities to gold to be mined in ESG friendly ways, and another way to access deposits that were previously considered unviable. An example of this is Optima Mining Systems, which are developing technology to drill down and extract small but concentrated ore bodies in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Volcanic Rock Deposits
Most of the gold on earth, is actually deep within the earth. Volcanic and epithermal activity can actually bring some of that gold to the service, meaning it may be possible to continually find new gold deposits in areas where this activity has occurred in the recent past, or maybe even develop technology to safely mine near sources that have activity occurring in the present, meaning there could be a continuous supply of new gold brought to the surface over time.
Deep Sea and Space Mines
Looking further toward the future, firstly nearer term it may be possible to extract more gold and other natural resources from the sea, as long as there is agreement on being able to do it in an environmentally sustainable way. Beyond that, much further in the future, we may even develop the ablity to mine asteroids in space, meaning that there certain is more gold beyond peak gold.