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I'm having a discussion with an engineer friend about gold.  I am of the contention that there has been much more gold mined and found than what is reported.  Well ... what is my starting report?  Let's go with this one as I don't really know how to prove or disprove my assumption.  I don't want this to be 'consensus science' which is in vogue right now but I guess without true gold facts there has to be a certain amount of belief in known gold produced each year and reserves in conjunction with industrial and aesthetic uses over all time on earth.  I don't really care about how much is left or not mined or in reserves.

I found this statement when I did a Google search:

Between all of the gold sources in the world, current estimates suggest that roughly 2,500 to 3,000 tons of new gold is mined each year. At present, experts believe that the total amount of above ground gold in the world stands at just over 190,000 tons.
The source of this statement is Provident Metals.
Is this over or under?
If this topic has been done please point me to the thread and we can delete this one.
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Taking the high figure of 30,000 tons of gold would be nearly 1 billion ounces. With a population of nearly 8 billion if it was shared equally then we all would have an eighht of a ounce each (4 grams). Well at least I have more than my share.🤑

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5 hours ago, geof_junk said:

Taking the high figure of 30,000 tons of gold would be nearly 1 billion ounces. With a population of nearly 8 billion if it was shared equally then we all would have an eighht of a ounce each (4 grams). Well at least I have more than my share.

Minelab - We Change People's Fortunes

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18 hours ago, mn90403 said:

...experts believe...

Right there are two words which I don't trust isolated, let alone together.

I looked at my early 1990's (2nd Edition) copy of Emsley's The Elements which says annual production is 1423 tonnes.  Four singnificant figures!!  Makes me think he or his sources added up all the reported values they could find.  So 30 years ago one estimate is about a factor of 1/2 what you found on the internet as today's production number.  Seems reasonable.

I would expect that large producers (big mining companies) are more likely to report (honestly), maybe because they are forced to.  How much production is due to big mining companies compared to small companies and individuals?  I know I don't report mine, but it takes a lot of grains to make a tonne.  🥴

Let's do a back-of-envelope calculation to get a sense for what individual detectorists find.  Minelab 2020 annual report said the sold $161 million of detectors in Africa.  Let's say that's 10% of the population of detectors in Africa and that each one of those detectors pays back 5x per year.  (Sounds generous...)  That's $8 billion of gold recovered per year in Africa with metal detectors.  Convert that to tonnes (I used $2k/ozt) and it comes out to 124 tonnes.  Let's multiply by 2 (and round) to include the rest of the world.  250 tonnes is 10% or so of the 2500-3000 ton value you found on the internet.  (And since Provident Metals said "current estimates" we don't know if they included unreported finds by individuals or not.)

There are small scale miners who use recovery methods to extract more than detectors, so it's not just the big conglomerates.  But I assume a lot of those small scale miners report their recoveries.

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We will never know, & what does it really matter? How long is a piece of string?? What does matter to us is how much can we find detecting, today, tomorrow & into the future.


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Yes, we will probably never know but it does make a difference.

It matters when it comes to the price of gold.  Who determines the price per ounce?  Does it have ANYTHING to do with the amount of gold mined or above ground?

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Yeah, MN it is us fellas at DP that decide the price of gold, has EVERTHING to do with DP ...... to prove my point it will double in the next 10 years and if it doesn`t it means DP members have been too industrious and taken too much of it out of the ground. Tis easy we... nah... all of youse  stop digging it out of the ground...... immediately....... downunder here there is a weight imbalance.... so if youse folks upover leave it in the ground gravity will level us up...... we`ll be back to the flat earth before Copernicus and all those following geniuses mucked it all up...... rereading this I think that is about as logical as any explanation given by "consensus science" which is the current in vogue form of science.

So you folks upover stop buying ML detectors, let us downunder buy the 6000 only and the imbalance will be sorted in no time at all.

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6 hours ago, mn90403 said:

Yes, we will probably never know but it does make a difference.

It matters when it comes to the price of gold.  Who determines the price per ounce?  Does it have ANYTHING to do with the amount of gold mined or above ground?

That's a great question. Probably not at all. Look at the Cryptos, just a pure numbers game without any underlying asset. If it weren't because of the Bitcoins in the world, gold would be >10,000 by now.

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Don't forget Wikipedia (2018 production of 3500 tonnes reported by World Gold Council).  Also there it says (my rounding) 200,000 tonnes has been mined/recovered throughout history.  54,000 tonnes (estimated) are reported in known reserves (i.e. yet to be recovered/mined).

Coincidentally the March 2021 issues of the ICMJ Prospecting and MIning Journal has an article by Chris Ralph which breaks down the historical recovery values by state for the USA Western States, into both total and placer categories.  Trivia question:  which state has produced the most gold?  (It's not close, and it's not the obvious answer.)

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Without looking at the article ... Nevada I would say.

There is a heap of gold in Nevada even tho it is called the Silver State.

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