Precious Metals

Gold exploration soars globally in 2018

Gold exploration projects worldwide are at record levels, according to mining analysts.

Panning image courtesy of; mine background image courtesy of GoldCorp.

S & P Market Intelligence reports that 55 percent of mining exploration in 2018 in Canada, Australia and the United States was for gold.

Exploration budgets for nonferrous metals (which excludes iron ore, coal and aluminium) jumped by 19 percent this year to $10.1 billion in U.S. dollars, according to S & P Market Intelligence

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“Exploration budgets among junior companies jumped by 35 percent and the number of active exploration companies increased for the first time since 2012, up 8% to 1,651,” according to the market research entity. “However, that total is still around 900 less than 2012, equating to a one-third culling of explorers over that period.”

The World Gold Council indicates that the likelihood of a discovery leading to a mine being developed is extremely low with than 0.1 percent of prospected sites leading to a productive mine. And, says the WGC, only 10 percent of global gold deposits contain sufficient gold to justify further development.

“Once basic facts about the local geology and potentially viable deposit are established, the ore body can be modelled and its feasibility assessed,” according to the WGC. The feasibility is often measured in grams of gold per metric ton of ore.

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