Gold that will later decorate the necks of Indian brides, be displayed in a Turkish souk or stored in the vaults of central banks first has to be scrapped from the belly of the Earth, often in devastating conditions around the world.
Given the volatility of gold prices and the general depression of metal prices many large mining companies lack the spirit and financial muscle to engage in new gold ventures. Countries around the world feel the pinch and increasingly turn to their home grown artisanal mining sector to make up for the shortfall. This could be a welcome shift from many countries obsession with mega projects back to their own mining force.
Oftentimes large mines operate as enclave industries with very weak links to the rest of the economy, although their environmental and social impact on the surrounding communities can be dramatic. Read More