SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD PRODUCTION AND ANNUAL AVERAGE GOLD PRICES (IN ACTUAL AND CONSTANT 1983 U.S. DOLLARS), 1981-2008.

YEAR

MT GOLD

ACTUAL U.S. $/TR OZ

1983 U.S. $/TR OZ


YEAR

MT GOLD

ACTUAL U.S. $/TR OZ

1983 U.S. $/TR OZ

1981

656

460

504


1995

522

384

251

1982

663

376

388


1996

495

388

246

1983

678

424

424


1997

493

331

205

1984

680

361

346


1998

464

294

180

1985

671

317

293


1999

449

279

167

1986

638

368

334


2000

428

279

161

1987

602

447

392


2001

394

271

152

1988

618

437

368


2002

395

310

172

1989

606

381

306


2003

376

363

197

1990

603

384

293


2004

342

410

216

1991

599

362

265


2005

297

445

227

1992

611

344

244


2006

275

604

298

1993

618

360

248


2007

255

695

334

1994

584

384

258


2008

220

872

403

Sources: South African gold production from SA Chamber of Mines (www.bullion.org.za). Actual annual average gold prices from Kitco (www.kitco.com). Constant 1983 $ gold prices determined using CPI deflator available at www.measuringworth.com.

Graphic for the above table



Of interest in the table above is the following:

** Production is stable and high (above 600 mtpy) from 1981 through 1993, followed by a 20 percent decline to 493 mt for 1997.

** In the eight years from 1989-1996, the actual $/tr oz gold price is very stable (344-388,average of 373). Constant 1983 $/tr oz prices are also stable but much lower (244-306, average of 264).

** During 1998-2002 both sets of prices are extraordinarily (unnaturally?) stable. Actual $/tr oz prices (271-310, average of 287) are very low; constant 1983 $/tr oz prices (152-180, average of 166) are ridiculously low.

** The production decline from 493 mt in 1997 to 220 mt in 2008 has been orderly and steady, averaging 24.8 mtpy.

** The 140 percent increase in the actual $ gold price since 2003, when viewed in the full 28 year context, does appear to be a reaction to a long period of price suppression/depression.

** The constant 1983 $ price of $403/tr oz for 2008 can be viewed as a “ray of hope” bringing the market price more in-line with what the South African gold mining industry requires to regain it's “footing”. Home Page Next