The gold-mining industry is not spending enough to sustain the industry into the future. Slowed primary gold supply growth is making a case for the belief that the industry may be close to hitting a peak in production amid slower exploration spend and a virtual halt to new projects.
The average reserve life of 11 gold mining companies studied has fallen from 24 years to 17 years.
High-grading is also taking its toll; the average head grade of the 11 gold mining companies studied has been higher than the reserve grade for the past three years.
The high-grading has not stopped with the rise in the gold price evidenced by the gap between reserve grade and high grade widening.