Tuesday marked the 167th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Since then, the Aussies have become the second largest gold producing country in the world. But analysts project gold output in the Land Down Under, along with several other key countries, could slump to “generational lows” in the midterm.
Last May, the head of the world’s largest mining company said we’ve found all of the gold. Goldcorp CEO Ian Telfer told the Financial Times, “we’re right at peak gold here.”
Peak gold is the point where the amount of gold mined out of the earth will begin to shrink every year, rather than increase, as it has done pretty consistently since the 1970s.
You could blow off Telfer’s comments off as hyperbole or the musings of a contrarian except that he’s not the only person in the gold mining industry worried about decreasing gold production. As a recent Business Insider article reported, many of the top people responsible for supplying the world’s gold say we’re running out of the yellow metal.
Gold supply took another hit, as output in Australia mine production slumped in the first quarter of this year.
Output fell 8% in Australia, according to data released on Sunday by Australian mining consultancy Surbiton Associates. Australian mines produced 71.5 tons in Q1. This was a drop from 77.5 tons in the previous quarter.