Gold discoveries slumping

IT WILL come as a no surprise to many in the industry, but new data has found that gold discoveries are down 45% over the past 10 years.
Gold discoveries slumping Gold discoveries slumping Gold discoveries slumping Gold discoveries slumping Gold discoveries slumping

Data from IntierraRMG has pointed to a worrying trend - the deterioration of new discoveries over the past four years in particular.

The analysis found that 2003-04 were the best for new discoveries in the past 10 years, with over 400 million ounces of new gold discovered at an average grade of 1.65 grams per tonne gold.

Discoveries slumped in 2005-06 to just over 150Moz gold discovered at a similar grade.

During the "boom" of 2007-08, discoveries jumped over 390Moz gold, with the average grade jumping to 2.65gpt, the highest over the decade.

Over the next two years, just over 250Moz were discovered at a lower grade of 1.25gpt gold.

In 2011-12 the trend continued, with new gold discoveries falling below 225Moz gold at just 1.17gpt gold.

"With global drilling activity waning, IntierraRMG forecasts that the next few years will continue the trend with fewer new gold discoveries," IntierraRMG Western Hemisphere director Glen Jones said.

This echoed comments made by Goldcorp boss Chuck Jeannes at last week's Mines and Money in Hong Kong.

Jeannes pointed out that exploration expenditure in the gold sector was up 23%, but discoveries were down 20%.

"There's been a lack of excitement in the market about new discoveries," he said.

IntierraRMG found that Africa had by far the most gold discovered at the best grade over the past decade.

Explorers found 479Moz in Africa at an average grade of 2.8gpt gold.

North America was next, though a long way behind, with 290Moz at 1.3gpt gold discovered.

Europe had the third most new discoveries with 240Moz at 2gpt gold.

There was 188Moz found in South America, while Australasia was lagging with just 74Moz at 1.4gpt gold found over the period.

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