While uncertainty created by the global pandemic has sparked a surge in gold buying, analysts are raising concerns over how much of the precious metal is left to mine.
According to the World Gold Council, gold mine production totaled 3,531 tonnes in 2019, which is one percent lower than in the previous year. That is the first annual decline in production since 2008.
Statistics showed that around 190,000 tonnes of gold has been mined in total. Estimates do vary but based on those rough figures, there is about 20 percent still left to be mined. Some experts say we have mined the most we ever can in any one year, others believe we may have already reached that point.
“While the growth in mine supply may slow or decline slightly in the coming years, as existing reserves are exhausted, and new major discoveries become increasingly rare, suggesting that production has peaked may still be a little premature,” said Hannah Brandstaetter, a spokesman for the World Gold Council.
China is currently the world’s biggest miner of gold while other major producers are Canada, Russia, and Peru. Experts note that there are relatively few unexplored regions left for mining, and possibly the most promising are in some of the more unstable parts of the world, such as in West Africa.