The following is an edited excerpt from S&P Global Market Intelligence’s annual Gold Discoveries report. To see the full report, visit www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence.
Although gold exploration budgets have fallen from a 10-year peak in 2012, spending on finding new gold ounces remains at historically high levels, with the US$54.3 billion allocated to gold exploration over the past decade almost 60% higher than the US$32.2 billion spent over the preceding 18-year period.
However, the increase in dollars spent has not yet resulted in more discoveries or discovered ounces compared with the previous period: only 215.5 million oz. gold has been defined in 41 discoveries over the most recent 10 years, compared with 1,726 million oz. in 222 discoveries in the preceding 18 years. Even after adjusting for more recently identified deposits that might eventually surpass our threshold for a major discovery, and for major discoveries with potential to expand, we forecast that the gold in major discoveries might only increase to 363 million oz. over the next decade.
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