How much gold has been mined?

The best estimates currently available suggest that around 187,200 tonnes of gold has been mined throughout history, of which around two-thirds has been mined since 1950. And since gold is virtually indestructible, this means that almost all of this metal is still around in one form or another. If every single ounce of this gold were placed next to each other, the resulting cube of pure gold would only measure around 21 metres on each side.

Total above ground stocks

How much gold has been mined? - Total above ground stocks

​Total above ground stocks: 187,200 tonnes

  1. Jewellery: 89,200 tonnes, 47.6%
  2. Private investment: 40,000 tonnes, 21.4%
  3. Official sector: 31,500 tonnes, 16.8%
  4. Other: 26,500 tonnes, 14.2%
  5. Below ground stocks: 57,000 tonnes

Source: GFMS, Thomson Reuters, US Geological Survey, World Gold Council

Each year, global gold mining adds approximately 2,500-3,000 tonnes to the overall above-ground stock of gold. While gold production has shown an upward trend in recent years, this is likely to level off in coming years.

Accurately estimating the amount of gold still within the ground is no easy task, and this estimate may change in response to several factors, such as:

Mining companies will estimate how much gold remains at each mining project they operate. These can be split into two categories: reserves (gold that is economic to mine at the prevailing gold price); and resources (gold that will potentially be economic to mine, subject to further investigation or at a different price level).