Sunday, January 16, 2011

On The Edge: Peak Everything

1 comment:

  1. If anyone is wondering what Peak Oil and rising coal prices mean for precious metals, let me explain. The mining of gold, platinum, palladium and to a lesser extent silver are very energy intensive. In South Africa the large under ground gold mines are finding gold at a rate of 5g/tonne at a depth of 5km. That means for every ounce of pure gold they find they have to haul to the surface 6,000kg of rock, crush that rock and then separate the gold. For Platinum it is over 10,000kg of rock per ounce. All of which consumes huge amounts of coal (to produce the electricity to haul up and crush the rock) and oil to move all the waste rock around.

    The story is similar in Australian open cut gold mines with more emphasis on the moving of rock via monster diesel tip trucks and scoops.