Gold and Silver Ore Mining in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Although gold and silver production remains relatively weak, investment in precious metals fueled industry revenue growth in recent years. The increase has been driven by growing global demand from investors seeking a safe investment after the recent economic downturn. On the other hand, demand from jewelry manufacturing has declined because of gold price increases and falling consumer demand. Nonetheless, operators are looking to boost production to take advantage of high prices. However, the economic recovery is expected to ease precious metal price increases, slowing revenue growth in the coming years. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Gold and Silver Ore Mining industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Gold prices will fall as the economy recovers, causing revenue to grow slightly through 2017

In 2011, US production of mined gold and silver ore reached its lowest point in almost 20 years, but the Gold and Silver Ore Mining industry achieved record-high revenue. This apparent contradiction reflects the power that precious metal prices, which are traded on world financial markets, have on industry performance. Over the five years to 2012, industry revenue is expected to climb at an annualized rate of 16.2%, while gold prices rise at an annualized 18.6%. The increase has been driven by growing global demand from investors seeking a safe investment after the recent economic downturn. In 2012, revenue is expected to grow an additional 2.7% to $14.0 billion as prices climb due to recessionary conditions in Europe and continued disappointment in the US economic recovery. “On the other hand, demand from jewelry manufacturing, the industry's primary domestic market segment, has declined in recent years because of gold price increases and falling consumer demand,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Agiimaa Kruchkin. In fact, jewelry's domestic share of industry revenue is currently 56.1%, down from 68.0% in 2009. However, investment demand has grown tremendously, especially in the global market, where investment demand in gold is almost 40.0%.

The Gold and Silver Ore Mining industry has a medium to high market share concentration. The six largest gold producing mine sites, which account for roughly 70.0% of total gold production, are operated by the four major players: Barrick Gold Corporation, Newmont Mining Corporation, Kinross Gold Corporation and Kennecott Utah Copper (Rio Tinto Group). “The high level of industry concentration reflects the relatively small amount of mineral resource locations, and multiple firms often operate at the same mine establishments,” adds Kruchkin. Additionally, producers have an incentive to merge due to the cost benefits of having larger operations. Large producers also have greater capital availability necessary to invest in mine exploration and development. All these factors give major players an advantage, making it difficult for smaller firms to compete and lead some to consolidation.

As demand grows domestically and internationally, producers are attempting to boost production to take advantage of high prices. However, a lack of investment in exploration and mine development in the 1990s and early 2000s has made it difficult for producers to catch up. Gold production dropped consistently from 2001 to 2009, but increased over 2010 and 2011 because of recent investments in production. Over 2012, US gold production is expected to jump a further 3.2% to 245 metric tons. Silver production is expected to remain relatively stable after resource depletion caused significant drops in the late 1990s. The four largest firms have invested in mine-expansion projects to reap the benefits of high gold and silver prices. Over the five years to 2017, US economic growth is expected to ramp up, thereby easing some of the upward pressure on gold and silver prices. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Gold and Silver Ore Mining in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Firms in this industry mine gold and silver bearing ores. Mining includes the development of mine sites and the on-site processing of ore into a concentrate or bullion. Firms typically retain ownership of the semi-processed gold or silver product and pay for further refining on a toll-charge basis. The refining process is included as part of the copper, zinc and lead refining industry (IBISWorld report 33141).

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit

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