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What is the Cost of Mining Gold?

Cost of Mining Gold infographic

We’ve analyzed the Top 50 Gold Mines to find the cost per ounce of gold by continent. The top 50 gold mines alone contain more than 33.5% of the world’s gold ounces.

  • 1234567890openmind .

    I’m a new subscriber to your site. Thank you for posting this information rich article. I’ll be referring to it and your five part series a lot in the coming days and weeks. If I may pose a question, the last time I checked (2011 or 2012 I believe) on the all-in cost to mine an ounce of Gold was between $1215 and $1250 an ounce. Do you recall seeing those figures? We saw them in a WGC report or in one of the numerous email newsletters we received during that period.

    • Here’s some data from Spring 2014 from

      In the most recent quarter, the majors mostly had all-in costs ranging from $1,000 to $1,300.

      For example, Goldcorp (GG) came in at $1,072/oz, Newmont (NEM) had$1,258/oz, and Barrick (ABX) was at $1,347/oz.

      Using our data from Tickerscores, we looked at the average all-in cash cost of 32 smaller gold producers that we cover (under $2 billion market cap). It came in at $1,390/oz. Of the 32 producers, only 17 of them have a cost lower than the current gold price.

      Also, looking at more recent data it seems that most companies are able to lower their costs. However, this is usually at the expense at limiting exploration and also high-grading their deposits (only mining the highest grade parts, which means later on they will not be able to produce the same cash flow)

  • Thomas Lepere

    Your audience is wondering about the Pebble Beach, Alaska, USA mine being developed into a producing mine by 2015? It is my understanding that the precious metal mine is owned by Northern Dynasty and is about to begin producing gold & silver? What is Northern Dynasty’s current stock symbol and price? What does “Anglo American” have to do with the Pebble Beach project? Jeff Desjardins or some other expert needs to do an article update to give information from which speculative investors can reach a reliable decision to invest in the company before it begins production of precious metals in 2015.

    • junkyardnut

      Pebble is fast becoming a non starter because of salmon swimming so close by and many Alaskans would not let Pebble take off at all. EPA already started doing blocking work ongoing and will make things very difficult for Pebble to start digging at all. You got to ask yourself where the heck Pebble can leave up to 5 billon tons of tailings over the lifetime of the mine? I can only suggest that Pebble use a very long conveyor belt to place tailing very , very far away from the watershed like 100 mles away !

      • mbee1

        The EPA already has shut the project, with a new congress it might be done but we need a new president. As to the tailing what is wrong with dumping it away from the salmon runs like you suggest, 100 miles is a bit much but 5 billion tons is not a lot of dirt in comparson to a mountain

  • 到 大

    Thanks for sharing the figures. my question is what the difference between “cash cost” and “all in cost” is?

  • junkyardnut

    It used to cost $200-300 overall to produce an ounce just ten years ago. Now it is over a thousand an ounce.

    • mbee1

      You noticed to. the only explanation is fraud, incompetence, deposits of very poor quality and huge cost to develope due to fraud, incompetence and government taxes. The chile mine says cash cost of 277 which is right in line with your numbers so the rest are fraud, government taxes, incompetence and fraud.

      • Aqoaq Esksh

        Not sure you mentioned fraud 🙂

    • Mikki2071

      Production costs are tracking energy prices. Your $200-300 was with oil price way below the $100+/bbl oil the data in this report is base on so multiply by 3-4x. Energy is by long term contract, not spot price, so it takes a while for prices to get reflected in the cost sheet. Now with oil tanking, gold price is going down reflecting future cost of production dropping as new energy contracts go into place. Another factor is high grade ores are mined in preference to low grade so, over time, the remaining portfolio is degrading which drives costs up.

      • junkyardnut

        There is still lots of deposits that can be opened with lower costs like $500 or so, but most of them are too small to be bothered with. Senior mining companies are going after much larger deposits that yield maybe one single gram per ton or two if lucky enough. This means massive dislocation of ore and soaring environmental costs to comply. Energy costs is not a fixed cost so it has far less to do with costs of mining than before. It is just that it is environmental suicide to pursue gigantic deposits of ultra low grades.. It may still be better than one hundred small mining operations scattering al over which would be far harder to regulate. Little guys probably are worse offenders than big dogs when it comes to every ounce of gold produce overall. Still, it is mind boggling enough to think about how much dirt has to be dug out , crushed, milled, refined to produce every single gram of gold these days. Sometimes, bacteria is used to digest microscopic traces of gold to free them up for refining. Costs is soaring not only in dollars but “intangible” costs in environmental, regulatory, health, insanity… etc. You have to drive down to Southwest like Arizona and New Mexico to see up close what the tailings look like… you will see neat rows of tailings up to 500 feet high that you knew was never there ten years ago.. they are so neat piled up down the stretch with straight ridgelines on top for thousands of feet at a stretch with more hidden behind that you cannot see from the roadside. There are so many mines out there that it is mind boggling! I would call it the Ninth Wonder of the Modern World!



  • Calisto Radithipa

    In recent year ,during the boom times, the cost of mining chemicals also went up. For example, sodium cyanide increased by more than 60% although it has since crashed with the gold price. The highest FOB price ever quoted was $4,000/ton from China. Overall the cyanide price affects the cost of production for some gold mines. Mines in Africa & S.America tend to pay the highest prices for mining chemicals. keeps track of all mining chemicals from gold to pt mining.

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