September 2021
While the global demand for gold is expected to grow over the long term, the global mined supply is expected to peak in 2022 before steadily decreasing as ore grades decline and large mining projects reach the end of their lives. The price of gold is not expected to rise at the same rate as demand, so miners will be incentivised to find more efficient and cost-effective ways of extracting gold from this lower-grade ore.
At the same time, mining companies are under increasing pressure to lower the environmental impact of their operations, and this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. With environmental regulations tightening worldwide and shareholders becoming more environmentally conscious, gold miners will be obliged to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and decrease their use of toxic chemicals such as cyanide in order to continue to operate. This, along with the need for more efficient operation, necessitates innovation in the industry. One of the major developments taking place in gold mining and in the mining industry generally is the shift to renewable energy, with gold mining companies such as Polyus already using renewable energy to power 90% of their gold production. Many gold miners are investigating new technologies with the potential to facilitate this shift. Numerous other new and established technologies, aimed at both increasing the efficiency of gold mines and decreasing their environmental impact, are also being trialled and used by gold mining companies around the world.