Gold output has peaked in this commodities cycle, according to mining industry leaders and analysts who say few big projects will reach the point of production amid falling prices.
The lack of new assets and declining output at existing mines is expected to curb gold supply, a glimmer of hope for surviving producers of the precious metal in an industry coming to terms with a rush of investment when prices were far higher.
Kelvin Dushnisky, president of Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold miner by annual output, said: “Falling grades and production levels, a lack of new discoveries, and extended project development timelines are bullish for the medium and long-term gold price outlook.”
Gold has been one of the commodities hit by the worst environment for mining in more than a decade. The price has declined more than 40 per cent from its 2011 peak, to a level where many gold miners struggle to recoup the costs of extraction.
This year some had expected gold to be under pressure from higher interest rates in the US, after the Federal Reserve began to tighten monetary policy last month.
However the gold price has risen 2.7 per cent so far in 2016, while stock markets around the world have tumbled. A controversial investment with a variety of competing theories for what determines the price, gold has provided comfort for investors who see the inert metal as a haven amid economic and political turmoil.
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