Peak Gold? Goldman Calculates There Is Only 20 Years Of Gold Supply Left

Tyler Durden's picture

Late last year, when looking at a Goldcorp slideshow, we noticed something surprising: the gold miner had forecast that 2015 would be the year when gold production would peak among the mining industry.


To be sure Goldcorp was really just pitching its own balance sheet, and was more focused on its far more levered gold-mining competitors going out of business...

... and hence facilitating "peak production" this year as one after another producer is forced to file for bankruptcy, than actually making a statement on how much gold remains to be mined in the ground. Because the last thing even the most healthy gold miner, with the lowest production cost wants, is to face a world in which their primary commodity is running out.

Which may just be this world.

According to a report issued by Goldman's Eugene King looking at commodity scarcity, the chart below "shows that there are only 20 years of known mineable reserves of gold and diamonds."

Some futher observations on gold and scarcity in general from Goldman:

The combination of very low concentrations of metals in the Earth’s curst, and very few high-quality deposits, means some things are truly scarce. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these are the so-called precious metals (and diamonds), and that their value is derived from the fact they are rare.


Their relatively scarcity, and the market’s belief that new discoveries will be limited, is what drives the price of these super rare commodities. Take diamonds as perhaps the most extreme example. A diamond has very little intrinsic value. Its value is determined by a belief that it is rare and, for a natural diamond, unique.


Gold has been used as a measure of wealth for more than 4,000 years, as the ancient Egyptians soon worked out that gold was not only shiny and heavy, but rare.

Of course, this analysis is meaningless in a vacuum: if the "known reserves" of gold plunge in the coming decade, no matter how many gold futures and GLD short sales are conducted by the BIS, the price will have to go up, and it will go up high enough to where a new surge of gold miners will come online and find thousands of new tons of gold reserves around the globe.

Unless they don't, and Goldman is correct that "peak gold" may have arrived. This will be even more true if over the coming years the long overdue fiat economic panic finally washes over the globe, and a revulsion toward central bank policies forces a scramble into gold whose value (if not price since fiat currencies will be redundant) soars.

The answer is unclear, but what is certain is that like the price of oil over the past decade and until last fall when price discovery finally became somwhat credible, what happens in the physical realm has absolutely zero marginal impact on the price of commodity which has about 100 ounces in deliverable paper contracts for every ounce in underlying. It will be only after the gold price distortions via the derivative market are eliminated that such trivial price-formation forces as supply and demand are once again relevant.


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Stackers's picture

The numbers for silver are even more dramatic

disabledvet's picture

Wow, really?

More like "two weeks of Goldman left." Biggest dirtbag name in human history.

Manthong's picture

OT, but WTF..

Riddle me this..

Why might you not want gay flight attendants to become pilots?

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) Manthong Mar 27, 2015 11:32 AM

20 years left of gold supply... you mean, just like the 1970 30 years oil supply announce ?

maskone909's picture


jbvtme's picture

any stats on the tungsten supply?

Latina Lover's picture

It worries me when GS is going bullish on Gold.... they must be selling,... why?

Pladizow's picture

And the reverse propoganda begins - they have acquired their position and now must convince the sheep to buy it from them!

whotookmyalias's picture

I'd better hurry up and buy some then, cause if I do I'll be rich.

Pinto Currency's picture



According to Scotiabank, all-in cost of production including capex amortization is $1,600 / oz for the industry.

That's the issue here - lower prices managed down at the LBMA are killing the mining industry.

In 50 years, there will still be 20 years of production reserves.

BoNeSxxx's picture

"The answer is unclear, but what is certain is that like the price of oil over the past decade and until last fall when price discovery finally became somwhat credible, what happens in the physical realm has absolutely zero marginal impact on the price of commodity which has about 100 ounces in deliverable paper contracts for every ounce in underlying. It will be only after the gold price distortions via the derivative market are eliminated that such trivial price-formation forces as supply and demand are once again relevant."


...Five years of reading the Hedge summarized in two pithy sentences.  

0b1knob's picture

Running out of gold?   The industrial uses for gold are very limited.  Much of the gold used for jewelry is eventually recycled.  It would take centuries to exhaust gold reserves.

Goldman will never run out of BS however.

Colonel Klink's picture

Exactly, I'm waiting for peak Goldman Sachs.  Lying fuckers.  De beers alone has a hundred year supply of diamonds squirreled away.  They purposely keep supply off the market to make it appear "rare".

Another full load of bullshit from GS.  Now silver on the otherhand may very well be entering a peak stage, but no one wants to mention that!  Silver is being "unmined" at an alarming rate and is vital to so many things such as electronics, water purification, medical industry, etc.

Shhhhhhhh, don't tell anyone though.  There could be a PANIC.

smlbizman's picture

i did catch lloyd going thru my underwear looking for gold the other night....maybe they are telling the truth....nah, lloyd just likes sniffing mens underwear.....

Joe Panama's picture

Not to mention the fact that the diamond stat is utter BS.   Just google "GE diamond".   They already figured out 20 years ago how to make synthetic diamonds of any color up to 1.5 inches in size.   Today, they can probably make single crystal diamond on the same scale as they do for silicon wafers (the substrate on which computer chips are made).   Can you imagine a single crystal diamon 12 inches in diameter and three feet long.   you could make thousands of diamonds for a few bucks each.

At any rate - I believe they made flat diamond wafers a decade ago which were about three inches wide.   Diamond has the highest thermal conductivity of any material (better than metals) which is why it is ideal for being used as a substrate for computer chips - this is what they were testing back then.   Unfortunately, this technology has had to be kept under wraps in order to satisfy DeBeers, so we have not benefited as we should have.

But the thing is - these are pure single crystal synthetic diamonds - no impurities, inclusions, defects or discolorations, and they are cheap to make.   In all honesty, I don't even understand why diamonds even have a high price.   Rubies, emeralds and saphires are much harder to make.

So... if we can make diamonds... out of carbon... how can we have only 20 years left?

Againstthelie's picture

I was wondering about the same.

Already several years ago De Beers admitted, that synthetic diamonds have reached such a quality, that only very few epxerts around the world even exist, who could tell the difference.

But never underestimate the Money Master's capabilities, when the time has arrived to push certain things. Reality does not matter. It's the price charts that create the facts. The art is to read their intentions correctly.

Stevious's picture

A 2 carat natural kasmir sapphire, if you can find one goes for about $25,000/carat, $50,000 for the stone.

A 2 carat synthetic kasmir appearing sapphire goes for about 50 cents a carat.

Hundreds of tons of synthetic diamonds could appear in a year and some have, but not a single one has ever fooled a qualified gemologist.  Qualified = GIA or AGS certified gemologist.  Sorry but your comment is simply wrong and I'll ask you to prove it with one single quality source.


There is no point comparing natural diamonds which have rarity value versus synthetics.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I see GS using Fig.2 (Debt stats) for gold producers, and to what I've predicted for a long time (2 years):

Wait for industry consolidation, i.e. wait for "Blood on the streets" of Wall St, and then p/u the remains at bankruptcy/short sales. SOP for GS.

If you want to rob a bank, you buy it. If you want to buy a goldmine or oil rig, you bankrupt it and then buy it. Wall St Ethics 101.

angel_of_joy's picture

It doesn't matter ! It's nothing but a barbarous relic anyway. Besides, it doesn't decay it just lasts forever... /s

Uncertain T's picture

Modern day alchemy attempts to turn carbon dioxide into gold.

Latina Lover's picture

Sounds like Goldman is dropping out of the gold suppression racket and going long....

mtl4's picture

Exactly the opposite...........they know gold is going to be pushed down as the dolloar gains value and are getting people scared to buy in just like they always do, it's another GS headfake.


My goodness that avatar is distracting.

venturen's picture

doesn't dropping Gold prices signal it signals inflation....if Gold drops guess what it is telling you?

UncleChopChop's picture

venturen, i'm not sure if there's some hidden sarcasm in your remarks/questions but im going to respond to you in earnest as if you are genuinely curious and want to know.

in a market that actually functions as a market what you said is true. but this 'market' is so heavily manipulated, the price of gold is being used as a policy tool. if the true value of gold were allowed to manifest, it would undermine the fiat currency system which is already straining at every turn and requiring more obscene and extreme efforts to keep it propped up as a store of value in people's minds. It may seem extraordinary that the price of a global physical commodity like gold could be so easily manipulated, but just remember - if you are a central bank that has virtually unlimited ability to print money, well.. that means you are willing to 'lose' billions in put-option buys that need to be not only continually rolled over, but also increased in size as time goes by. (i'm just using the example of buying puts to demonstrate how someone without a care for losing value in fiat currency terms could manipulate the price of a real commodity that 'trades' on an exchange).


ultimately, the proof is in the pudding though, and there are countless examples of 'smoking guns' that prove this point. searching through ZH's archives and reading people's commentaries should give you what you need to understand assuming you're willing to invest the time.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

hahaha i thought the same exact thing..(you were making a joke about right?)

Urban Roman's picture

... BROUGHT TO YOU BY (insert name of latest fly-by-night gold, silver, platinum, and diamond mining financier), WITH HOLDINGS IN MEXICO, ARGENTINA, AND SOUTH AFRICA.

maskone909's picture

lol yeah.  i mean, he does have some cool interviews but cmon man,  you gotta switch up your intro every once in awhile!

samsara's picture

In the 1970's it was said that we would PEAK in CONVENTIONAL oil in 20-ish years. NOT that we would run out.

We Peaked in 2005 in Conventional(Jed Clampet type) Oil.  

froze25's picture

Diamonds are easily grown in labs currently, they are perfect from a jewelry perspective in fact so perfect that their perfectness is what is used to identify a lab grown one. 

pods's picture

The diamond scam will collapse with the rest of their fake scams, ie fractional reserve debt money.

De Beers:

"The company was founded in 1888 by British businessman Cecil Rhodes, who was financed by the South African diamond magnate Alfred Beit and the London-based N M Rothschild & Sons bank."

Who would have thought?


angel_of_joy's picture

You cannot make artificial gold... Diamonds, just say a number !

pods's picture

I like my carbon in sheets, rolled into fishing rods of excellent sensitivity.
Diamonds are okay when one has to cut or grind, but to look at? Eh.

When I found my first flake of gold (it was TINY) it about gave me palipitations.  No carbon will ever do that, even Buckyballs.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If in doubt, go to the NY Diamond District (between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan) and take a look around as to who owns the places. Give you 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count.

Hint: Per Wiki... "Many deals are finalized by a simple, traditional blessing ('mazel und brucha') and handshake. The Diamond Dealers Club is an exclusive club that acts as a de facto diamond exchange and has its own synagogue."

That being said, I can see the logic of limiting Cartel Membership for something like diamonds to a very small and close-knit (closed) group, where Trust is key and is baked in via Cultural and Religious bonds.

GoldenGeezer's picture

Someone posted something about this the other day. Apparently you can extract gold from soild waste (ie SHIT).


80 years are up's picture

I made that guess two days ago, almost instantly.  I was surprised then that about half the readers here down voted my guess.  I see you are having no better luck.  Note to all.  His break up with some girl friend doesn't make him straight.  Most likely the meds he was put on since he saw a doctor 2 months ago set him off. Living in a closet never helps.

80 years are up's picture

I made that guess two days ago, almost instantly.  I was surprised then that about half the readers here down voted my guess.  I see you are having no better luck.  Note to all.  His break up with some girl friend doesn't make him straight.  Most likely the meds he was put on since he saw a doctor 2 months ago set him off. Living in a closet never helps.

silver_stacker's picture

The numbers for silver are even more dramatic

I totally agree according to the research that I have done...

Ignatius's picture

Peak sand... I kid you not:

On top of that add 'peak truth'.  The American Institute of Architects convention in Atlanta this year will debate and vote on the 'collapse' of 7 World Trade Center building on September 11th, 2001.  Is it hot in here?

Radical Marijuana's picture

Ignatius, that story about sand sounded so familiar:

Corruption and violence will stymie many of even the best-intentioned attempts to crack down. At root, it’s an issue of supply and demand. The supply of sand that can be mined sustainably is finite. But the demand for it is not.

Battles among and against “sand mafias” there have reportedly killed hundreds of people in recent years—including police officers, government officials, and ordinary people ... “In our system you can easily buy anything with money—witnesses, police, administrative officials,” a legal professional close to the case tells me, on condition of anonymity. “And those guys have a lot of money from the mining business.”

Of course, the same basic system of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition, was behind the events on 9/11/2001. It is theoretically interesting and important to use "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" regarding the astonishing ways that three World Trade Center buildings suddenly collapsed. Those can NOT be explained consistently with the basic laws of physics, like the way gravity works, and the structural properties of the substance steel, EXCEPT as the result of some kind of controlled demolition, which MEANS INSIDE JOB, FALSE FLAG ATTACK.

However, that conclusion then returns us to the original problem exemplified by the limits of sand being actually controlled through the fractal patterns of the applications of the principles and methods of organized crime, i.e., corruption and violence. Anyone who spends enough time investigating 9/11 Truth will discover that America has become the greatest overall example of the ways that civilization is controlled through applications of the methods of organized crime. The events on 9/11/2001 were merely the single most spectacular symbol of that, so far.

As we reach the real limits of diminishing returns regarding being able to strip-mine the planet's natural resources in every area that one looks at (while all of those issues are developing themselves at interrelated exponential rates), the one thing that remains constant is that the more one learns, the worse it gets, because of what was ALWAYS the case, namely that human beings operated as entropic pumps of energy flows, which matched the principles and methods of organized crime, while that is becoming more and more BLATANTLY OBVIOUS!

I have basically the same attitude towards the relatively more mainstream 9/11 Truth movement as I do towards the mainstream Drug Policy movement. Both call for "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" WITHIN their own little domain. BUT, BUT, BUT, they do NOT apply the same approach generally toward understanding government itself using "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis."

In EVERY AREA that one examines, from sand, to gold, and so on and so forth, the same basic patterns are discovered, which are that human beings operate as entropic pumps of energy flows, that are best described as behaving consistently with the principles and methods of organized crime. Indeed, governments are the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals, which can be perceived in EVERY AREA, such as the "War on Terror" as well as the "War on Drugs." 

Furthermore, as the limits of diminishing returns from being able to strip-mine a finite planet's natural resources at an exponential rate are becoming more and more acute (with many possible peaks happening with the life time of those alive today) the intensity of resolving those issues through more extreme manifestations of the methods of organized crime, on every level, in every way, becomes clearer and clearer ... It is at that point that I tend to recommend that "WE" SWITCH GEARS, from regarding organized crime as an aberration, to regarding organized crime as necessarily the result of any adequate analysis of any social situation, because of the basic ways that human beings and human civilizations MUST operate as entropic pumps of energy flows.

As the human species runs into the various limits of diminishing returns from strip-mining the planet, it is theoretically imperative that we would have to develop radically different integrated systems of human, industrial and natural ecologies. Of course, that would include different ways of operating political economies. However, at the present time, it is practically impossible to develop any better political economy, to respond to the various peak resource dilemmas, approaching at exponential rates, since ALL of those are actually matched by the development of Peak Organized Crime, which become expressed as Peak Social Insanity.

The GREAT IRONY with respect to systematically applying "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" is that generally demonstrates the initially PARADOXICAL PROBLEM that governments are the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals, while that cascades down from there as fractal patterns of organized crime throughout everything else.

The central issue in the dilemmas with respect to natural resources being limited are corruption and violence. Those dilemmas are compounded by many orders of magnitude by the degree to which the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories have been able to reverse the meaning of almost everything, including even the concept of entropy had its meaning inverted by an arbitrary minus sign inserted into the entropy equations of thermodynamics and information theory. Hence, the upshot of a more general application of "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" is that one arrives at a theoretical understanding of the absolute inevitablity of there necessarily being "corruption and violence."

However, at the present time, we are rushing into the limits of being able to strip-mine the planet's natural resources at an exponential rate, while that was overall being supervised by the biggest gangsters, the banksters, who were applying the methods of organized crime to control the biggest governments. It is the SAME PATTERN, only on such a large scale that most people did not previously perceive that, while now, that is also becoming more blatantly obvious.

That is how and why I have developed my standard response to all of the various issues regarding the apparent Peak Anythings, approaching at exponentially accelerating rates, namely that the only genuine solutions require developing better organized crime, which is the necessary reality of any better government, which has as its necessary central core some violence manifesting in the forms of the death controls through the murder systems.

At the present time, the first and foremost ways that the limits of diminishing returns are showing up is through our fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, driving wilder oscillations, due to the development of the previous debt slavery systems to generate numbers which become debt insanities. Those debt insanities provoke volatilities which are like economic manic depressive syndromes, headed towards economy psychotic breakdown situations.

The essential problem that the human species faces is that all of the other kinds of ways in which we have achieved relatively greater applications of "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" have NOT happened to political science in general, because the ONLY way to do that is to regard human beings as entropic pumps of energy flows, which necessarily matches the principles and methods of organized crime. That insight is resisted and obstructed by the ruling classes, as well as most of those they rule over, because of the ways that the currently established systems are almost nothing but organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition groups, BOTH of which promote the same false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, because BOTH are dominated by similar sorts of professional liars and immaculate hypocrites.

While there are plenty of theoretically possible creative alternatives, which may be developed to deal with running into the limits of diminishing returns from being able to strip-mine natural resources, (while FOR SURE continued exponential growth of such strip-mining is NOT endlessly possible) the BIG PROBLEM is that those creative alternatives must have at their center alternative death control systems, as indispensable to any development of the kinds of alternative human, industrial, and natural ecologies, which would be forced to adapt to the limits of the environment.

Obviously, at the present time, it is practically impossible to imagine enough people understanding themselves by applying "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" BECAUSE they would have to face the basic facts that all human realities are relatively organized systems of lies operating robberies. Furthermore, they would have to face the facts regarding how those who were the best at doing that became the most wealthy and powerful people, because the established systems became based on the maximum possible deceits and frauds, since they were the most socially successful forms of "corruption and violence."

Moreover, during all of the time when the planet's natural resources were being strip-mined, the economy was based on being able to turn those natural resources into garbage and pollution, as fast as possible, in order to keep the debt slavery treadmills going. In the end, all of that garbage and pollution was accumulating on the land, and in the oceans and atmosphere, and accumulating in ways which were changing their basic chemistry.

For those reasons, I believe that the runaway social polarization being driven by triumphant organized crime becoming so socially successful, that the biggest bullies' bullshit world view controls most of its apparent opposition, will be TRUMPED by the ways that civilization so totally controlled by the unacknowledged and unrepentant methods of organized crime develops attitudes of the maximum possible evil deliberate ignorance towards itself, and what it is doing to its environment. As an illustration of the potentially plausible ways that the irreparable destruction of the natural environment could TRUMP all of the other concerns regarding running into the real limits of being able to continue to strip-mine the planet at an exponentially accelerating rate, here is another quite disturbing article to consider:

One of the basic reasons how and why the most constant feature that I have found throughout all of my studies has been that the more I learned, the worst it got, was that ALWAYS, wherever one looked, one would discover developments on EXPONENTIAL GROWTH CURVES. Therefore, Peak Strip-Mining, and Peak Pollution, were ALWAYS rushing at us, faster and faster, for those who had the education, information and imagination to perceive that was happening ...

Of course, at the same time, is also become more painfully obvious that the established systems of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition, were going to continue to do their best to deliberately ignore those prospects. Indeed, it is plainly obvious that the vast majority of people are living in ways which deliberately ignore the limits to being able to strip-mine a finite planet. Almost everything, along with almost everyone, was set up to try to continue to do that, as much as possible, for as long as possible.

The upshot appears to be that the tragic trajectory of learning more and more about those problems is that they always get worse and worse ... with the most probable futures being catastrophic collapses into chaos and mass murders, during the next Century or so, while, after that, the human species may go extinct. While I would recommend that "WE" SHOULD address those problems by applying "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" what I EXPECT to happen is actually much more criminally insane forms of "corruption and violence."

The main reasons for those conclusions are that it is NOT possible to apply "the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis" to general political science without ending up embracing how and why human civilizations operate according to the principles and methods of organized crime. Therefore, running into problems like anything from Peak Gold production, to Peak Sand production, ALL revolve around the imperatives to resolve those problems through changes in the death control systems, in one way or another, sooner or later ... while every day that is postponed means that the options for how to actually do so are diminishing.

sun tzu's picture

Silver has industrial and medical uses, gold doesn't. Anyway, known reserves doesn't mean there are more deposits out there that haven't been found yet. Back in the 1920's there was only 20 years supply of oil reserves left. Until they found more and more. 

Citxmech's picture

And yet the EROEI just keeps marching downwards.

BandGap's picture

There are so many reserves in the UP. Copper, silver, nickel, Pt, Pd, Uranium and probably gold. There is a huge zinc dome located near Stevenson, jst south of Menominee.

It's there, just waiting for the right time.





cheech_wizard's picture

>Silver has industrial and medical uses, gold doesn't.

The biocompatibility of gold has meant that it has been used in medicine for centuries, particularly in dentistry.

Historical aside:

Gold Teeth collected in crematoria were classified as Nazi "Non-Bullion Gold" according to the NAZI GOLD: The British and Allied attempt to deal with loot from the Second World War and the implications for the Tripartite Gold Commission" published by "The Holocaust Education Trust, November 1997 - Second Edition.    In Auschwitz, a laboratory for melting gold (Goldgiesserei) was built in Crematorium III, where gold teeth as well as other gold-containing loot were turned into ingots.

DontFollowMyAdviceImaDummy's picture

actually 24k gold is used extensively in fiducials used for triangulating lung tumors being ablated by a CyberKnife.

Jumbotron's picture

Put all that fracking tech and out of work drillers to frackin' some gold in them thar' hills !!

one_hundred's picture
one_hundred (not verified) Stackers Mar 27, 2015 9:51 PM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Thirst Mutilator's picture

abiotic gold bitchez ~ lol

Theta_Burn's picture

Fucking awesome..

At current rate of price decline It should be about $200 a Z by then...