Only a tiny handful of huge gold discoveries have been made worldwide in the last decade, which experts say is because virtually all the juiciest low-hanging fruit has been picked some time ago. And this new reality promises to help edge bullion prices increasingly higher.
The scarcity of world-class gold discoveries is already taking a toll on the mining industry’s bottom line. Global gold output has been dwindling by nearly 5% per annum since it peaked in 2001, even though bullion’s spot price has more than tripled since then.
An even more pronounced downward trend can be seen in North America. This is where output has dropped over the last decade from 17.06 million ounces in 1998 to 10.59 million ounces in 2008.
Part of the problem is that historically gold-rich territories like eastern Canada’s Abitibi Greenstone Belt and Nevada’s fabled Carlin Trend have failed to yield any monster gold finds in recent years, according to Mickey Fulp, a geologist and exploration/mining analyst who has over 30 years of mineral exploration experience all over the world.
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