It is easy to imagine that gold is necessarily a very rare element on Earth. The notion of preciosity associated with gold seems to imply that gold is particularly rare. However, while gold is rare, it is not at all the rarest element on our planet. If gold is so precious, it is undoubtedly because of the conditions necessary to succeed in extracting it from the bowels of the earth, and its intrinsic qualities.
How much gold is extracted each year on Earth?
The amount of pure gold that the gold mining industry extracts each year may surprise you. It is estimated that every year, gold mines around the world manage to extract more than 1,555,000 kg of the precious yellow metal from the earth. How can you imagine this amount? Knowing that a volume of one liter represents a cube of 10 cm on each side, and that gold weighs 19.3 kg per liter, all the gold in the world produced over one year represents a cube of 4.3 meters on each side. Imposing but still quite possible to imagine.
Now, to your calculators to estimate the price of this gold cube by multiplying this weight with the current gold price that you can obtain from your gold central purchasing office!
All the gold in the world
If so much gold is extracted every year, this was not always the case, and in order to estimate the total amount of gold produced, an average production of 1400 tons per year over the last two centuries must be made. Beware, this is indeed an average! If this figure seems important, it allows us to take into account the extractions carried out during the previous centuries but which have not yet reached the levels authorized by the industrial revolution. We then obtain 280 thousand tons produced by humans. For its part, the World Gold Council estimates the existing gold, either in the form of jewelry, coins, ingots or in industry, at 197 thousand tons.