We have previously written that a global gold deficit is likely to occur in the near future. Will the depletion of earthly deposits ruin the gold mining industry completely?
There is reason to believe that the mining of the precious metal will continue in the future, but not on the Earth.
Ambitious plans of states and private companies give us a clear sign: the cosmic gold rush is in full swing.
Space is full of untold riches
According to scientists, an asteroid with a diameter of one kilometer can provide the Earth with gold for decades. 17000 asteroids are within our planet’s reach and are suitable for resource extraction.
Imagine the possibilities that the giant asteroid 16 Psyche with a diameter of 252 kilometers offers, containing various metals worth 700 quintillion* dollars. Such a quantity of gold is more than enough to make every inhabitant of the Earth a billionaire.
In the photo: the asteroid 16 Psyche — a giant goldmine.
Countries joined the race
In 2015, the US government adopted a law that permits the citizens to undertake space resource exploration and mining activities. Such American companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries plan to commence working on asteroids in the 2020s.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced plans for space exploration, including the extraction of useful resources. The Chinese intend to create a new generation of launch vehicles, ensuring primacy in the race for extraterrestrial treasures by 2045.
Luxembourg entered the cosmic gold rush with an unexpected zeal. This relatively small country was the first in Europe to adopt a law legalizing the extraction of minerals in space and allowing companies to retain all the wealth found. Luxembourg will only issue licenses and monitor the situation. To date, 10 space mining enterprises have been registered in the country.
Throughout the world, large sums of money are invested in the development of industrial space mining. Allied Market Research projects that four billion dollars in total will be invested in the industry by 2025.
In the photo: a prototype of the asteroid-mining process that can become a reality in the foreseeable future.
Experts remain optimistic
Scott Moore, CEO of the mining company Euro Sun Mining, who has 25 years of experience in the industry:
“The biggest companies produce 4-5 million ounces of gold per year, but these volumes pale in comparison to the riches available in space.”
Mitch Hunter-Scullion, founder of Asteroid Mining Corporation — a British company seeking to become a pioneer in the extraction of space resources:
“It will be a new boom in the industry. Once the infrastructure is created, the possibilities will be infinite. Those who accept the challenge of the asteroid race will earn astronomical money.”
Tom James, a 29-year-old commodity expert, former energy adviser at The United States Department of Defense:
“In the next five years, the leaders of mining enterprises will think about the business relocation, offshoring to space. This has to be done before the shareholders confound the companies by asking a perplexed question: “What is your strategy for the future?”
Human race will not stop in its quest to conquer space, and sooner or later gold mining will be carried out on asteroids and other planets. The society needs a reliable tool for Financial Security, and people will do everything possible to find new sources of the yellow metal.
On July 22, 2019 the price of gold is $1,428 per ounce.
The gold rush of the XXI century can be a powerful incentive for the development of space technologies and the exploration of new worlds. The future is here - and the role of gold in it is more important than ever. The yellow metal contributes to the progress of civilization, and we are all active participants in this process.
*Quintillion — a number representing a unit with eighteen zeros. One quintillion includes million trillions.