from Wealth Cycles:
As happened decades ago, a drop in gold prices is having an impact on production. One key factor—difficult, if not impossible—to reverse is a steady decline in ore grade. With consumer gold demand soaring to an all-time high in 2013, the drop in production points to a growing supply shortage and ultimately rising prices. In a cyclic reaction, prices will eventually push production up as well, but restarting idled mines or ramping up exploration and development requires years of lead time. For the ever-declining ore grades there may be no solution.
Twelve straight years of rising gold prices, through 2012, finally kick-started global gold mining operations, which picked up in earnest around 2009 and peaked in 2012 at 2700 metric tons delivered to market, according to an August 2013 report by Scott Wright of Mining.com.
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