I mentioned global debt of $250 trillion in my “Anything but Paper” Blog on May 15th. Since then I came across this graphic below from Visual Capitalist www.visualcapitalist.com/. Exploration Geologists love images and drawings that make numbers concrete. We try to visualize the third dimension and what lies beneath from a map of only two dimensions. Anyway, I thought that it was interesting to compare global debt in four stacked blocks on the left in the graphic below and compare it directly to gold above and below ground on the right.
On the debt side governments account for 27.4% and households for 24.3% of global debt. Gold above ground comes to 197,576 tonnes at a value of $10.9 trillion if you take a gold price of $1,715 per ounce, just a bit above today’s current price. The reserves of gold below ground are also based on this gold price and expanding these reserves will as always depend on exploration and discovery of deeper and harder-to-find gold deposits. In short and keeping it simple, the future looks bright for gold if the demand holds and governments are successful in debasing the world’s currencies. On the supply side tier-one gold discoveries are becoming as rare as hens teeth. It appears that the price of gold has not yet risen to a point where greed conquers fear and reward pins risk to the canvass and properly incentivises exploration.
Incidentally the value of all silver stock above ground is worth $43.9 billion at a silver price of $17.20 per ounce, just a bit below today’s price. That would represent just one tiny cube or brick in the above graphic. If investor sentiment turns to silver then even a relatively small wall-of-money will have a much more exaggerated effect on the price. Of course the contrary is also as highly leveraged.
John P. Barry
Managing Director of Irus Consulting Ltd. and Professional Geologist
John Barry played a pivotal role in the unlocking of major gold deposits in Africa. The list of gold deposits includes Nyanzaga in Tanzania (1996) and Ahafo in Ghana (2000). He recognised the potential of Yanfoliala (Mali) in 2003. More recently in 2010 he led the team which the Mandiana gold project (Guinea).
He has worked as an economic consulting geologist for 28 years. Over the past ten years he started and managed three successful public resource companies. John has seen a lot of mineralised rocks. John worked for respected international consultancies including CSA and Chlumsky Armbrust & Meyer . He is also a specialist in zinc-lead exploration.
In 1992 he helped in the early delineation of Lisheen zinc-lead resource in Ireland. In 2008 he led the first outside group to secure a major zinc-lead project in southern Poland. The Upper Silesian zinc district is the the world’s largest MVT zinc-lead district . John (P.Geo and EurGeol) holds a Master’s Degree in Geology from Pennsylvania State University. John has a MBA from the Edinburgh School of Business, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.
“My track record of success is about tenacity, patience and focus. I have learned valuable lessons from some of my failures. One of my real strengths is in communicating quite complex technical ideas. Making such concepts concrete and easy to undertand. I like to build build and motivate teams by projecting my enthusiasm and vision. I am committed to the development of young geologists through delegation with support.”
John is always open to new opportunities. Open to share his knowledge, insights, knowledge, strategic vision and extensive network of contacts. To help you discover and realise value in your projects. He is MD of his own Exploration Management and Geological Consultancy – Irus Consulting Ltd.
References/sources: The cover picture has been obtained and licenced from Olaf Speier