It seems we have been so caught up in the decline of oil reserves that another commodity—one that the mining industry has thrived on for centuries—is apparently even in more scarce supply. Gold reserves are running surprisingly low, and analysts believe that recoverable resources could run out completely within 20 years.
A report written by gold mining analysts for Standard Chartered Bank cites U.S. Geological Survey estimates that at the end of 2010, global gold reserves were only 51,000 tonnes. At the rate of production seen in 2010, this would translate to only 19.2 years of production. Unfortunately, the report also shows that while exploration budgets have risen for major gold mining companies, it has failed to prevent an overall decline in the rate of new gold reserve discoveries.