Envisioning the New Age of Gold Mining

Envisioning the New Age of Gold Mining

Between 2011 and 2020, the number of large gold discoveries decreased by 70% in relation to 2001-2010.

The lack of discoveries, coupled with stagnant gold production, has cast a shadow of doubt over the future of gold supply.

This Novagold-sponsored infographic highlights the need for new gold mining projects with a focus on the company’s Donlin Gold project in Alaska.

The current state of gold production

Between 2010 and 2021, gold production increased steadily until 2018, before leveling off and falling.

Year Gold production, tons Interanual variation
2010 2,560
2011 2,660 3.9%
2012 2,690 1.1%
2013 2,800 4.1%
2014 2,990 6.8%
2015 3,100 3.7%
2016 3,110 0.3%
2017 3,230 3.9%
2018 3,300 2.2%
2019 3,300 0.0%
2020 3,030 -8.2%
2021 3,000 -1.0%

Along with a small decline in gold production from 2020 levels, there were no major new gold discoveries in 2021. Meanwhile, annual demand for the yellow metal increased by 10%from 3,651 tons to 4,020 tons.

The drop in production and the lack of long-term gold discoveries point to a possible imbalance in gold supply and demand. This requires the introduction of new gold development projects that can fill the gap between supply and demand in the future.

Sustained supply: gold for the future

Jurisdictions play an important role when looking for projects that can support gold production in the future.

From political stability to reliable legal systems, characteristics of a jurisdiction can make or break mining projects. Amid continued market uncertainty, political turmoil, and resource nationalism, projects in safe jurisdictions offer a better investment opportunity for investors and mining companies.

As of 2021, seven of the top 10 mining jurisdictions for investment were located in North America, according to the Fraser Institute. Here’s a look at the top five gold-focused development projects in the region, based on measured and indicated (M&I) gold resources:

Project M&I Gold Resource, million ounces* Grade (grams/ton) Location
KSM 88.4Moz 0.51 g/t British Columbia πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Donlin Gold** 39.0Moz 2.24 g/t Alaska πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Live good 13.6Moz 0.60 g/t Alaska πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
CΓ΄te Gold 13.6Moz 0.96 g/t Ontario πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
black water 11.7Moz 0.61 g/t British Columbia πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

*Includes mineral reserves. **See Donlin Gold Mineral Reserves and Resources Cautionary Statement.

Located in Alaska, one of the safest mining jurisdictions in the world, Novagold’s donlin gold The project has the highest average gold grade among these major projects. For every ton of ore, Donlin Gold offers 2.24 grams gold, what is more than twice the global average grade of 1.03g/t.

In addition, Donlin Gold is the second largest gold-focused development project in the Americas, with more than 39 million ounces of gold in M&I resources including reserves.

Novagold is focusing on the Donlin Gold project in equal partnership with Barrick Gold. Click here to learn more now.

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