How many years of gold do we have left?

Geologists estimate that more than 99% of all the gold on Earth is simply too expensive or impossible to reach with current technologies. Recycling will have to be considerably more efficient to meet the needs of the global gold market, as a huge amount of gold continues to end up in landfills every year. On the other hand, the sharp increase in production costs in the last 15 years alone, combined with the unavoidable mathematics that shows how quickly miners are exhausting the Earth's remaining recoverable gold reserves, suggest that, in the coming years, production costs could start to rise again as the world runs out of untapped gold. Once the peak of gold is reached, global gold production will gradually decline until all economically exploiting deposits have been extracted.

Today, experts believe that the total amount of gold on the ground in the world amounts to just over 190,000 tons. As gold reserves on Earth dwindle and gold prices rise, this could push explorers and developers to find new sources of gold in places where no miner has gone before. However, in the following century, cumulative gold production tripled to 60,000 metric tons in the early 1940s, followed by a rapid increase of 50% to 90,000 metric tons over the next three decades. In other words, “running out of gold isn't really an adequate description of what happens when gold mines stop producing.

Although new gold veins are still being found, discoveries of large deposits are increasingly rare. However, we have been able to increase gold production over the past century on such a massive scale that we really have to consider running out of gold resources (at least easily accessible resources). Recent discoveries of precious metal deposits surrounding thermal vents on the seabed suggest that certain privileged locations on the seabed may contain gold deposits in concentrations of up to 6 grams per metric ton. Recently, South Africa's total gold production, almost all of which comes from Witwatersrand, has fallen below 170 tons per year.

Fears that there won't be much untapped gold left in the world could remind some investors of similar concerns about the limited amount of oil on Earth. That said, I would like to hear your explanation of how there is a ton of gold in every cubic mile of ocean water. Among all the world's gold sources, current estimates suggest that between 2500 and 3000 tons of new gold are extracted each year. Of the world's extractable gold, the World Gold Council estimates that there are approximately 54,000 metric tons of gold in sufficient concentrations and depths that can be recovered at a reasonable cost.