Chart: How Much Gold is in the World?
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Chart: How Much Gold is in the World?

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The following content is sponsored by Kalo Gold.

How much gold is in the world?

How Much Gold is in the World?

Gold has retained its value throughout history, partly due to the fact that it is indestructible.

That means that virtually all the gold in the world that has been mined is still around in one form or another. Some of it may have turned into jewelry, while some might be sitting inside vaults as bullion. So, just how much gold have we mined, and how much of it is left beneath the ground?

This infographic from our sponsor Kalo Gold visualizes all the gold in the world that’s above ground and the identified reserves that we have yet to mine.

Where is All the Gold?

The World Gold Council estimates that miners have historically extracted a total of 201,296 tonnes of gold, leaving another 53,000 tonnes left in identified underground reserves.

If all of the above-ground gold were stacked beside each other, the resulting cube would only measure 22 meters on each side, which is a testament to the metal’s rarity. But where exactly is all of this mined gold?

Nearly half of all the gold ever mined is held in the form of jewelry. India and China have been the largest markets for gold jewelry consumption, combining for more than 50% of global jewelry demand in 2020.

CategoryGold stocks held (tonnes)% of above-ground stocksDollar value* (US$, trillions)
Jewelry93,25346%$5.8T
Private investment44,38422%$2.8T
Official holdings/Central banks34,21117%$2.1T
Other29,44815%$1.8T
Total201,296100%$12.5T

*Dollar values are based on gold’s price of $1756.66/oz as of close on Sept. 30, 2021.

Investors across the globe buy gold because of its ability to deliver value, and when inflationary pressures are high, gold often acts as a flight to safety. Consequently, investment is one of gold’s biggest end-uses, with over 44,000 tonnes of gold held as bars, coins, or bullion for gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Besides investors, central banks are also among the biggest holders of gold. Unlike foreign currency reserves, equities, and debt-backed securities, gold’s value largely depends on supply and demand. Therefore, central banks often use gold to diversify their assets and hedge against fiat currency depreciation. Central banks’ gold holdings account for almost one-fifth of all above-ground gold; as of 2021, official holdings exceed 35,000 tonnes.

Although gold is widely coveted as a precious metal, it also has various industrial uses, with applications in electronics, dentistry, and space. In fact, it’s estimated that a typical iPhone contains about 0.034 grams of gold, in addition to other precious metals. It is these industrial uses that account for 29,448 tonnes or roughly 15% of all above-ground gold.

Underground Gold Reserves

Before it turns into jewelry and bullion, gold goes through several stages in the supply chain, beginning with mineral exploration and mining of underground reserves. As of 2020, the world had 53,000 tonnes of gold in identified reserves. Here’s where all this gold lies:

CountryGold reserves (tonnes)% of total
Australia 🇦🇺10,00019%
Russia 🇷🇺7,50014%
U.S. 🇺🇸3,0006%
Peru 🇵🇪2,7005%
South Africa 🇿🇦2,7005%
Rest of the World 🌎27,10051%
Total53,000100%

Given their availability of reserves, it’s no surprise that Australia, Russia, U.S., and Peru are among the world’s largest gold producers, with only China having produced more in 2020. These reserves not only help determine current production but can also provide an idea of where gold mining could occur in the future.

In 2020, miners produced just over 3,000 tonnes of gold, and at this rate, underground reserves will last less than 18 years without new discoveries. However, it’s important to note that reserves can change and grow as explorers find gold in different parts of the world.

A Golden Future

Gold has been around for thousands of years, and it will likely remain that way in the future.

With rising concerns over the growth in money supply and inflation, gold will continue to deliver value and protect investors in times of volatility while preserving wealth for the long term.

Kalo Gold is discovering gold on the edges of the mineral-rich Pacific Ring of Fire with its Vatu Aurum project in Fiji.

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The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills.

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Road to Decarbonization - How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet

Asphalt, also known as bitumen, has various applications in the modern economy, with annual demand reaching 110 million tons globally.

Until the 20th century, natural asphalt made from decomposed plants accounted for the majority of asphalt production. Today, most asphalt is refined from crude oil.

This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows how new technologies to reuse and recycle asphalt can help protect the environment.

The Impact of Climate Change

Pollution from vehicles is expected to decline as electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines.

But pollution from asphalt could actually increase in the next decades because of rising temperatures in some parts of the Earth. When subjected to extreme temperatures, asphalt releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.

Emissions from Road Construction (Source) CO2 equivalent (%)
Asphalt 28%
Concrete18%
Excavators and Haulers16%
Trucks13%
Crushing Plant 10%
Galvanized Steel 6%
Reinforced Steel6%
Plastic Piping 2%
Geotextile1%

Asphalt paved surfaces and roofs make up approximately 45% and 20% of surfaces in U.S. cities, respectively. Furthermore, 75% of single-family detached homes in Canada and the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roofs.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Asphalt

Similar to roads, asphalt shingles have oil as the primary component, which is especially harmful to the environment.

Shingles do not decompose or biodegrade. The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills, the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil.

But most of it can be reused, rather than taking up valuable landfill space.

Using technology, the primary components in shingles can be repurposed into liquid asphalt, aggregate, and fiber, for use in road construction, embankments, and new shingles.

Providing the construction industry with clean, sustainable processing solutions is also a big business opportunity. Canada alone is a $1.3 billion market for recovering and reprocessing shingles.

Northstar Clean Technologies is the only public company that repurposes 99% of asphalt shingles components that otherwise go to landfills.

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A Visual Guide to the Science Behind Cultured Meat

Cultured meat could become a $25 billion market by 2030, but investment into the technologies that underpin the industry is required.

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A Visual Guide to the Science Behind Cultured Meat

Cultured foods—also known as cell-based foods—are expected to turn our global food system as we know it on its head.

In fact, the cultured meat market is estimated to reach an eye-watering $25 billion by 2030 according to McKinsey, but only if it can overcome hurdles such as price parity and consumer acceptance. To do so, significant innovation in the science behind these products will be crucial for the industry’s growth.

In the graphic above from our sponsor CULT Food Science, we provide a visual overview of some of the technologies behind the creation of cultured meat products.

What is Cultured Meat?

To start, cultured meat is defined as a genuine animal meat product that is created by cultivating animal cells in a controlled lab environment—eliminating the need to farm animals for food almost entirely.

“Cultured meat has all the same fat, muscles, and tendons as any animal…All this can be done with little or no greenhouse gas emissions, aside from the electricity you need to power the land where the process is done.”
—Bill Gates

Because cultured meat is made of the same cell types and structure found in animal tissue, the sensory and nutritional profiles are like-for-like. Let’s dive into how these products are made.

The Science and Technology Behind Cultured Meat

The main challenge facing the cultured meat market is producing products at scale. But thanks to the vast amount of research in the stem cell biology space, the science behind cultured foods is not entirely new.

Given that we are in the very early days of applying these learnings to producing food products, those looking to invest in companies contributing to the industry’s growth stand to benefit. Here is an overview of some of the technologies that underpin the industry that you should know:

1. Bioprocess Design

This is the process of using living cells and their components to create new products. According to experts like the Good Food Institute, bioprocess design holds the key to unlocking cultured meat production at scale.

Specifically, innovation in bioreactor (where the cells grow) design represents a massive opportunity for companies and investors alike.

2. Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering techniques are used to produce cultured meat that resembles real meat textures and flavors. The first step is taking tissue from the animal for the purpose of extracting stem cells and creating cell lines.

The extracted stem cell lines are then cultivated in a nutrient rich environment, mimicking in-animal tissue growth and producing muscle fibers inside a bioreactor. The muscle fibers are processed and mixed with additional fats and ingredients to assemble the finished meat product.

3. Cell Lines

Cell lines refer to the different types of cells that can be propagated repeatedly and sometimes indefinitely.

Access to cell lines is a major challenge facing the industry today and is an area that requires significantly more research. This is because there is not just one cell type that can be used in cellular agriculture to produce cultured food products.

4. Cell Culture Media

Cells (or cell cultures) require very specific environmental conditions. Cell culture media is a gel or liquid that contains the nutrients needed to support growth outside of the body.

More research in this space is needed to determine optimized formulations and make these products more affordable.

5. Scaffolding

Scaffolds are 3D cell culture platforms that mimic the structure of complex biological tissues, such as skeletal muscle. This platforms can be created through the use of 3D Bioprinting.

Scaffolds are predominantly made up of collagen and gelatin. The problem is these are both animal-derived ingredients which defeats the purpose of cell-based products. Therefore, more sustainable plant-derived options are also being explored.

Investing in the Future of Cultured Meat

CULT Food Science is an innovative investment platform advancing the technology behind the future of food with an exclusive focus on cultured meat, cultured dairy, and cell-based foods.

The company’s global portfolio spans four continents and includes exposure to a diverse pipeline:

  • Cell lines
  • End products
  • Scaffolding technology
  • Growth medium
  • Intellectual property

>>>Want to stay updated? Click here to subscribe to the CULT Food Science mailing list.

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