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  London Bullion Market Association - London Gold Fixing (10:30 AM and 3:00 PM Local London Time)


  CME Group / NYMEX Gold Futures

  • On August 23, 2011, the December 2011 CME/NYMEX gold futures contract (most-active contract) hit a record intraday trading price of $1,917.90 per ounce.
  • On August 23, 2011, the December 2011 CME/NYMEX gold futures contract (most-active contract) settled at a record $1,861.30.
  •   CME Group / NYMEX E-Mini Gold Futures

      NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index

      SPDR Gold Shares GLD Price



      Gold Metal
     

    Gold is a dense (19.32g/cm3) but soft naturally occurring metal, and in nature it occurs as flakes, grains or nuggets in rock material, as veins in rock (in situ), or separate grains and nuggets eroded from rock material in alluvial deposits. Gold most often occurs as a gold silver alloy or as a gold tellurium alloy.

        Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: USGS Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: USGS Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: USGS

    Gold is very malleable and ductile, which means that it is not brittle and will not shatter when beaten or rolled (gold can actually be made into a thread). The metal is scentless, non-toxic, and also has a very high resistance to oxidization in air, water, or corrosive agents . Gold also readily creates alloys with copper, silver, palladium, and other base metals. Thus, the flexibility and shine of the metal, and its rarity (the amount of gold in the world is finite and it cannot be created) resulted in its past several millennium of usage by man for ornamental purposes, and as a form of monetary value / exchange.

    The largest usage of gold is in jewelry fabrication (approximately 80% of annual world production) and consumption. The balance of gold is used as a storage of value (investment), and as a component in manufacturing electronics, telecommunications equipment, laser and optical equipment, aviation, and medical / health although it is being used less in restorative dentistry than has been used in the past.

    The World Gold Council indicates that "the total volume of gold ever mined up to the end of 2009 was approximately 165,000 tonnes (metric tons), of which around 65% has been mined since 1950."



      Gold Mining Process
     

    The key to profitability in the gold mining business is keeping the cost per ton of excavating / mining gold bearing material below the market value of the net gold per ton of gold bearing material. However, the market value of gold is a variable value, and the net realizable gold per ton of material is a variable value, which is why a mine operation can quickly shut down if the market value of gold declines below the cost to projected revenue equilibrium point. One way around this situation is to enter into a forward contract to sell the mine's gold production at a specific price.

    The process begins with the exploration of specific geological areas that may be conducive to the formation of gold. A mining company needs to locate an accessible area that contains gold in 2,000 to 3,000 parts per billion (ppb) of surrounding soil and rock material to be profitable. Thus, geological, geophysical and geochemical data is collected to determine the probability of a deposit. If sufficient data is acceptable then test drill holes are sunk in a predefined area to take sub-surface samples, which are then sent to a laboratory to determine the eveidence of any gold ore. Gold-bearing material can be classified as:
  • Placers
  • Free milling ores
  • Oxidized ores
  • Silver-rich ores
  • Iron sulphides
  • Arsenic sulphides
  • Copper sulphides
  • Antimony sulphides
  • Tellurides
  • Carbonaceous
  • Modern mines / mining are either:
  • Open pit surface excavation
  • Deep shaft (underground)
  • Gold panning, which is a manual procedure, and sluicing still exist but are used only by small scale / individual operations.

    In surface excavation, large drilling rigs bore a pattern of holes into the rock, which is then filled with an explosive compound. The compound is then ignited in order to fragment the rock into a size that can be loaded and hauled away.

    Large masses of rock are excavated, crushed and processed to remove and separate gold particles from the crushed rock. Some mines specifically excavate for gold or gold is found as a by-product during the excavation for other minerals such as copper or silver. It is very rare to actually locate gold nuggets that are of 0.900 in fineness (parts per thousand).

    Cyanidation is the method of extracting gold and silver contained in ores or concentrates by dissolving them in a weak solution of potassium or sodium cyanide.

        Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: Madieta Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: Madieta Click on image to view larger photo; Photo source: Madieta

    Search for a Gold Mining Company




      Gold Producing Nations
     

    In 2008, Gold Fields Mineral Services Ltd. (GFMS Ltd.), publicly indicated that the People's Republic of China gold production surpassed that of South Africa, and the nation became the world's largest gold producing nation, producing approximately 276 metric tons / 9.7 million ounces of gold in 2007. China continued to increased gold production again in 2008 and 2009, and remains the leading gold-producing nation, followed by Australia, South Africa, and the United States.

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010), estimates total, combined 2009 world gold mine production at 2,350 metric tons.



    Argentina

    Andean Resources, Ltd., operates the Cerro Negro project, which is located in the southern province of Santa Cruz. The company indicates that the project (Eureka, Vein Zone, and Bajo Negro) has a reserve of 3.1 million ounces of gold (as of March 2010).

      Google Map Location of the Cerro Negro Field Region


    AngloGold operates the Cerro Vanguardia field in the southern province of Santa Cruz.

    Couer d'Alene Mines Corporation (Coeur Argentina S.R.L.) operates the Martha Mine project in the southern province of Santa Cruz, approximately 30 miles northeast of the town of Gobernador Gregores.

    The Alumbrera mine is located in northwest Argentina.

    The Gualcamayo mine is located in the northern San Juan province of Argentina.

    The Veladero mine (open pit) is located in in San Juan Province (Frontera District at the border with Chile).



    Australia

    The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) indicates that Australian gold mine production was 218 metric tons in 2009. Australia’s gold mine production in 2010 is estimated to increase by 10% to 239 Metric tons. The ABARE indicates that a "number of development projects in Western Australia will underpin this increase, including Newmont’s recently commissioned redevelopment of the Boddington mine. Once operating at full capacity, this project is expected to produce around 31 tonnes of gold a year, making it the largest gold project in Australia. Also contributing to the growth in production is the ramping up of OzMineral’s Prominent Hill (an increase of 3 tonnes), the return to higher grade ores for the Kalgoorlie Joint Venture Super Pit (3 tonnes) and increasing production from Avoca’s Higginsville project (2 tonnes). Partly offsetting these increases are estimated falls in production from Newmont’s Tanami operations (a decrease of 3 tonnes) as a result of maintenance activities and lower ore grades. Production of gold as a by-product at Xstrata’s Ernest Henry mine is estimated to fall by 2 tonnes during the year, partly as a result of wet season flooding."

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Australia 2009 gold mine production at 220 metric tons.

    The Kalgoorlie Consolidated gold mine (Barrick Gold Corp., Newmont Mining Corp.) is located in Western Australia. Kalgoorlie operations consist primarily of the Super Pit open-pit mine (also referred to as the Fimiston Open Pit), which is located along the Golden Mile ore bodies previously mined from underground.

      Google Map Location of the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Field


    The second largest gold mine in Australia is the Callie underground gold mine (Newmont Mining Corp.) located in the Tanami Desert, Northern Territory.

      Google Map Location of the Callie / Tanami Field


    Dioro operates the Frog's Leg project, which is located approximately 25km west of Kalgoorlie, and the South Kal Project, which is located approximately 25km south of Kalgoorlie.

    Gold is also mined in the Boddington area of Western Australia.



    Brazil

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Brazil 2009 gold mine production at 50 metric tons.

    Gold is mined in the area of Sierra Grande, Brasil Mineracao.

    The São Francisco (Yamana Gold) gold mine is located within the Guapore Gold Belt. The São Vicente mine, also owned by Yamana Gold is located near by.

    Fazenda Brasileiro (Yamana Gold) is an underground gold mine located in northeast Brazil, 180 kilometres north northwest of the state capital of Salvador.

    The Jacobina complex of underground mines (Yamana Gold) is located in the state of Bahia, in north eastern Brazil near the Serra do Jacobina mountains.



    Canada

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Canada 2009 gold mine production at 100 metric tons.

    Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. operates the LaRonde Mine in Quebec.

    Lake Shore Gold (38% owned by Hochschild Mining Plc)) operates the Timmins Mine. Lake Shore Gold has announced an updated production target of 65,000 ounces of gold in 2010, building production over the following three years with the potential to produce 350,000 ounces by 2013.



    Ghana

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Ghana 2009 gold mine production at 85 metric tons.

    Gold is mined in the interior of the country. It has been reported in the media that Ghana contains the second largest area of gold deposits in the African region after South Africa. Anglo Gold Ashanti operates the Iduapriem mine. Newmont operates the Ahafo mine. The Parliament of Ghana voted to increase the mining royalty to 5.0% from the existing 3.0%, and has indicated that it wants to renegotiate existing contracts.



    Indonesia

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Indonesia 2009 gold mine production at 100 metric tons.

    Gold is mined as a byproduct of the copper mines at Grassberg (Freeport-McMoran) and at Batu Hijau (southwest cost of the Nusa Tenggara Barat peninsula; Newmont Mining Corp.).

      Google Map Location of the Batu Hijau Field



    Kazakhstan

    Polyus Gold operates the Aksu (open pit), Bestobe, and Zholymbet mines through its subsidiary JSC MMC Kazakhaltyn (the acquisition of KazakhGold, which is under investigation by the Government of Kazakhstan).



    Japan

    Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. operates the Hishikari Mine in Kagoshima Prefecture.



    Mali

    Gold is mined at the Morila deposit in southern Mali, and the Yalea deposit at Loulo in western Mali.



    Mexico

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Mexico 2009 gold mine production at 55 metric tons.

    Gold is mined (as a byproduct of silver mining) at Palmarejo.



    Mongolia

    Gold is mined at the Oyu Tologi copper and gold mine in southern Mongolia.

      Google Map Location of the Oyu Tologi Field



    Papua New Guinea

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Papua New Guenia 2009 gold mine production at 65 metric tons.

    Harmony Gold Mining Co. operates the Wafi-Golpu mine.

    Lihir Gold Ltd. (LGL) operates the open-pit Lihir gold mine is on the island of Lihir, in Papua New Guinea's (PNG) New Ireland Province, approximately 700km north east of Port Moresby. In August 2010, the company was acquired by Newcrest Mining Ltd.

      Google Map Location of the Lihir Island Region




    People's Republic of China

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates the People's Republic of china 2009 gold mine production at metric 300 tons.

    Zijin Mining Group operates the Zijinshan Gold-Copper Mine in Fujian Province, which is recognized as China's largest proven reserve gold mine. However, in July 2010, the mine operation experienced 2.4 million gallon acidic copper waste water spill and the company will first have to deal with fines and environmental control investment prior to additional expansion.

    Eldorado Gold operates the Jinfeng mine in Guizhou Province. In 2008 the mine produced 150,928 ounces and in 2009 the mine produced 166,824 ounces. Eldorado owns 82% through Eldorado's wholly owned subsidiary Eldorado Pacific Pty Limited. The remaining interest is owned by the local joint-venture partner Guizhou Lannigou Gold Mine Limited.

      Google Map Location of the Jinfeng Mine / Guizhou Province Region

    Eldorado Gold operates the Tanjianshan mine in Dachaidan Region, Haixi Prefecture, Qinghai Province, northwest China. In 2008 the mine produced 118,468 ounces and in 2009 the mine produced 105,610 ounces



    Peru

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Peru 2009 gold mine production at 180 metric tons.

    Gold is mined at Minera Yanacocha, which is located approximately 375 miles (603 km) north of Lima in the Andes Mountains in the Province of Cajamarca.

    The Cerro Corona mine (copper / gold, open pit) is located in northern Peru in the Andes Mountains.



    Russia

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates Russia 2009 gold mine production at 185 metric tons.

    Gold is mined at Veduga, Anenskoye, Sovromenine, Aprelkovskoye. In the far northeast of Russia, Kupol deposit is located in the northwest part of the Anadyr foothills on the boundary between the Anadyr and Bilibino Regions in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.

    Polyus Gold commenced operations at its new Blagodatnoye mine in the southern Krasnoyarsk region. The company also operates the Olimpiada and Titimukhta mines in the southern Krasnoyarsk region; the Zapadnoye in the Irkutsk region; the Kuranakh mine in Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

    Highland Gold operates the Novoshirokinskoye mine.

      Google Map Location of the Southern Krasnoyarsk Region




    South Africa

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010) estimates South Africa 2009 gold mine production at 210 metric tons.

    South African gold production has been steadily declining over the past several years and in 2008 the nation was no longer the largest producer of gold in the world. During 2009, continued electric power generation problems, coupled with continuing labor problems in South Africa, caused several mines to continue to produce at reduced production levels.

    Gold Fields Ltd. operates the Driefontein mine in South Africa.

    Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd. maintains operations located on the Witwatersrand Basin.

    Gold is mined in the Vaal River (Great Noligwa, Kopanang, Moab Khotsong and Tau Lekoa) and West Wits regions. The Vaal River area is located just west of the towns of Klerksdorp and Orkney, and operations are along both sides of the river in the Free State and the Northwest State. The two important geological formations are the the Vaal Reef and the secondary Crystalkop Reef.

      Google Map Location of the Vaal River Field




    United States

    Gold is mined in the states of Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, California, Utah and Colorado. The U.S. Geological Susrvey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010), estimates that U.S. gold mine production was 210 metric tons in 2009, a 9.9% decline from 233 metric tons in 2008. In response to the economic recession, consumers in the United States became net sellers of owned gold jewelry in response to the increasing gold price and continued difficult economic conditions. In 2009, 190 metric tons of new and old scrap was recycled, which was more than the reported consumption amount of 170 metric tons.

    The U.S. Geological Susrvey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (2010), further indicates that Gold was produced at about 50 lode mines, a few large placer mines (all in Alaska), and numerous smaller placer mines (mostly in Alaska and in the Western States). In addition, a small amount of domestic gold was recovered as a byproduct of processing base metals, chiefly copper. Thirty operations yielded more than 99% of the gold produced in the United States. In 2009, the value of mine production was about $6.4 billion. Commercial-grade refined gold came from about 2 dozen producers. A few dozen companies, out of several thousand companies and artisans, dominated the fabrication of gold into commercial products. U.S. jewelry manufacturing was heavily concentrated in New York, NY, and Providence, RI; areas with lesser concentrations include California, Florida, and Texas. Estimated uses were jewelry and arts, 72%; electrical and electronics, 7%; dental and other, 21%.

    In Nevada, Barrick Gold Corp. owns the Goldstrike operations, which includes the Betze-Post open pit and the Meikle and Rodeo underground mines along the Carlin Trend near Elko.

      Google Map Location of the Goldstrike Field


    Apollo Gold Corp. operates the open pit Montana Tunnels Mine, which is a 50% joint venture with Elkhorn Tunnels, LLC, in Montana.


    A second well developed gold mining area in Nevada is the Battle Mountain complex.

      Google Map Location of the Battle Mountain Field


    Coeur D'Alene Mines Corp. operates the Rochester Mine just outside of Lovelock, Nevada.

      Google Map Location of the Rochester Mine Field

    Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. operates the Pebble Project copper-gold-molybdenum mine in southwestern Alaska in a joint-venture with Anglo American plc. Reserves are estimated at 2,080 metric tons (reported as 66.9 million troy ounces) of gold.




      Gold Refining
     
  • Mines will perform some preliminary refining in order to produce ingots that can be transported to a professional Assayer and refiner. These semi-refined ingots are known as Doré, and contain gold, silver and other trace minerals.
  •  
  • Further refining is conducted in order to remove trace minerals. The refined gold must be assayed (independently evaluated) to determine that the purity of the gold is of a suitable quality to be termed "good delivery".
  •  
  • The Italian-speaking region of southern Switzerland (Ticino) is one of the most well know areas for companies performing assaying and the final refining of unrefined gold. The Central Office for Precious Metals Control, Federal Customs Administration, maintains oversight of the industry in Switzerland. In Switzerland, precious metals articles must bear the mark for a standard of fineness and a responsibility mark (assigned to each company in the industry) registered at the Central Office for Precious Metals Control. Some of the local companies include, Argor-Heraeus, PAMP (Produits Artistiques de Métaux Précieux; MKS Finance), Valcambi SA.
  •  
  • The Perth Mint, the only LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) accredited refiner in Australia, currently refines the total annual production of gold in Australia. In addition, gold dore is also sourced from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Thailand and Malaysia. Gold jewellery scrap is also sourced from a variety of Asian markets. Refinery throughput is expected typically between 300 metric tons and 400 metric tons per annum.
  •  
  • Bars must be at least 99.5% (Purity is usually expressed in parts per thousand as 0.995, 99.99, 999.9 or 0.999; it is very difficult to refine out the last few impurities thus gold is never expressed in 100% terms) pure gold and weigh between 350 and 430 troy ounces to qualify as "London good delivery bar" in most international transactions. (The largest manufactured gold bar in the world is the 250 kg / 551.150 lbs. gold bar in the Toi Gold Museum, Japan; A standard 400 troy ounce bar weighs 12.5 kg / 27 lbs.).
  •  
  • The color of the gold bars will indicate the age of the bar and the impurities in the bar associated with the proficiency level of smelting during the era that the gold was produced:
  • A reddish tinge indicates the presence of copper, which reflects bars produced from gold sources of melted coins and jewelry and indicates older bars.
  • Butter yellow colored bars indicate bars that were produced by up-to-date smelters and from gold sources of below ground ore.
  • A white tinge to the gold bars indicates the presence of silver and platinum from older smelters and gold sources of below ground ore.
  • A greenish tinge indicates the presence of iron.
  • An unusual form of gold has a black tinge, which indicates the presence of bismuth.
  •  
  • Bars occasionally become dented due to handing (especially older bars that have been physically shipped several times) however this does not detract from the value of the bar. Similarly, bars will sometimes appear to have notches on the edge however these are chips removed for assay purposes and does not detract from the value of the bar.
  •  
  • Every bar will have the stamp indicating the smelter where the gold was refined as well as to where it was cast. Additional identification marks will identify its purity and "melt" (how many bars were produced in that specific pouring; If there is insufficient molten gold left at the end of the pouring to produce a single minimum 350 troy ounce bar then a series of smaller weight bars are produced as molten gold from one melt is prohibited from being added to a successive melt).
  •  
  • A Certified Stock is physical gold that has been inspected and found to be of a quality deliverable against futures contracts, stored at the delivery points and designated as regular or acceptable for delivery by the commodity exchange
  •  
  • The main bar weight traded in Europe is a Kilo Bar, which has several different weights depending on the assayed fineness of the gold:
  • 0.995 fine gold kilo Bar comprises 32.1507 troy ounces
  • 0.999 fine gold kilo Bar comprises 32.119 troy ounces
  • 0.9999 fine gold kilo Bar comprises 32.148 troy ounces
  • A troy ounce is 31.1048079 grams and an avoirdupois ounce is 28.35 grams.
  •  
  • A troy ounce contains 480 grains and an avoirdúpois ounce contains 437.5 grains.
  •  
  • A standard international London Good Delivery 400 troy ounce bar weighs 438.8 avoirdupois ounces or 27.4 avoirdúpois pounds, approximate dimensions are 7 x 3-5/8 x 1-3/4 inches (since 1986, most 400 troy ounce bars have been cast trapezoidal, and have either rounded corners or sharp corners), and based on the statutory price of USD$42.2222 per ounce the value of a 400 troy ounce bar is $USD16,888.00
  •  
  • In the Far East gold is weighed in Taels (one tael equals 1.203 troy ounces), and the unit of trading is 100 taels (123.04 ounces) which is usually quoted in Hong Kong dollars.
  •  
  • On the Indian subcontinent gold is weighed in Ten Tola bars (10 Tola = 3.75 ounces; One tola equals .375 ounces or 11.1 grammes of 0.999 fineness).
  •  
  • Karat(s) is also a measurement (and expression) of the purity of gold based on 24 karats being 0.999 fine gold.
  • 14 karat gold is 14 / 24 of 1000 parts or 583 fineness
  • 18 karat gold is 18 / 24 of 1000 parts or 750 fineness
  • 22 karat gold is 22 / 24 of 1000 parts or 917 fineness
  •  
  • Gold is also offered in various types of bars (down to one gram) and in the form of bullion coins :
  • American Eagle (United States); available in 1,1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .916 or 22 karats; numismatic proof coins are also available.
  • Maple Leaf (Canada); available in 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .9999 or 24 karats.
  • Kruggerand (South Africa); available in 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .916 or 22 karats.
  • Britannia (United Kingdom); available in 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .916 or 22 karats.
  • Kangaroo (Australia); available in 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1/20 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .9999 or 24 karats.
  • Australia use to produce a gold coin named the Gold Nugget Coin, which are still in circulation.
  • Panda (People's Republic of China); available in 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1/20 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .9999 or 24 karats.
  • Philharmonic (Austria); available in 1, 1/4 and 1/10 troy- ounce sizes. Fineness: .9999 or 24 karats.
  • Onza (Mexico); availabe in 1, 1/2, and 1/4 troy-ounce sizes. Fineness: .999 or 24 karats.
  •  
  • Gold is also sold for jewelery manufacturing in the form of Granules or Findings. These are small, round pellets of gold that can be easily melted or stretched into wire by a craftsman. Granules and findings are made by pouring melted gold through a wire sift over water, thus as the small particles of gold hit the water they cool into a small round pieces.
  • Gold is utilized in jewelery manufacture in the form of solid gold, gold plate, gold filled, gold overlay, gold electroplate, gold flashed/washed or rolled gold plated


  • Search for a Gold Refining Company





      Gold Pricing
     

    There is a spot (cash) price for gold and a futures contract price for gold.

    In June 2010, the spot and futures prices for gold reached record highs, and the price has remained high even when the U.S. dollar strenghthened in value against the Euro and Yen. As jewelry consumption, the traditional demand of gold consumption, has been declining while the price has been increasing is the reflection of the increase in the investment in gold due to its appeal as a low risk asset / safe haven investment in response to economic conditions, decline in equities markests, the possibility of inflation in the future due to substantial fiscal stimulus spending programs, and concerns about the fiscal positions of several European economies, including those of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

    The price of gold was allowed to float in 1968. The price of gold is quoted in terms of troy ounces (one troy ounce equals 31.1 grams). The statutory rate of a troy ounce of gold is $42.2222.

    In the United States, Gold futures contracts are quoted and traded on the COMEX division of the CME Group member exchange New York Mercantile Exchange / NYMEX (open outcry / pit trading); CME Globex (electronic trading platform); CME ClearPort (traded off-exchange for clearing only). This is a benchmark contract (sets the price for this specific resource worldwide).

  • Product Symbol GC
  • Contract size is for good delivery 100 troy ounces (5% more or less) in one bar or three one-kilogram bars, minimum .995 fine; The bars must be stamped with the mark that clearly identifies weight, fineness, bar number/serial number and identifying stamp of the refiner
  • Price is quoted in U.S. dollars per troy ounce
  • Minimum Fluctuation $0.10 per troy ounce
  • Termination of Trading Trading terminates on the third last business day of the delivery month
  • NYMEX Open Outcry trading hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (8:00 AM to 1:30 PM CT)
  • CME Globex trading hours: Sunday – Friday 6:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (5:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Chicago Time/CT) with a 45-minute break each day beginning at 5:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. CT)
  • CME ClearPort trading hours: Sunday – Friday 6:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (5:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Chicago Time/CT) with a 45-minute break each day beginning at 5:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. CT)
  • Listed Contracts Trading is conducted for delivery during the current calendar month; the next two calendar months; any February, April, August, and October falling within a 23-month period; and any June and December falling within a 60-month period beginning with the current month.
  • Settlement Type: Physical delivery; Delivery may take place on any business day beginning on the first business day of the delivery month or any subsequent business day of the delivery month, but not later than the last business day of the current delivery month.
  • OutrightRates Performance Bond Requirements: speculator initial $4,500; maintenance $3,333


  • London Fixing

      London Bullion Market Association - London Gold Fixing (10:30 AM and 3:00 PM Local London Time)

    Every day at 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. local London time, the five bullion trading houses "fix" the price of gold which becomes the benchmark for the entire gold market. At the start of each fixing, the Chairman announces an opening price to the other 4 members who relay this price to their customers. The reason why London endures in this role is the presence of the Bank of England which has a long history of direct dealing and marketing of gold into international markets on the behalf of customer countries (the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank does not do this). The five fixing market makers are Barclays Capital, Bank of Nova Scotia-Scotia Mocatta, Deutsche Bank AG London, HSBC Bank, and Société Générale

     
  • The international market is also known as the "loco London market" due to the fact that gold is quoted for delivery in London.
  •  
  • Contango: near futures prices exceed spot prices; the premium paid for futures over spot prices.
  •  
  • Gold Lease Rate: Libor minus the contango.
  •  
  • After being prohibited for several decades, on December 31, 1974, it again became legal for U.S. citizens to own gold. Gold is used as an investment or inflation hedge by individuals, companies, financial institutions, national treasuries and investment funds.
  •  
  • Gold is either purchased on an exchange (cleared contract) or OTC between a bank / broker / client.
  •  
  • Bullion trade / transactions require that parties utilize the 1997 ISDA Bullion Definitions and the 1993 ISDA Commodity Definitions, as amended by the 2000 Supplement to the 1993 ISDA Commodity Definitions documentation.


  •   Gold Consumption & Usage
     
    On November 25, 2009, the United States Mint publicly indicated that it would halt sales of the 2009 American Eagle one ounce, 22-karat bullion coin (face value $50) as the Mint has depleted its current inventory of the coin.

    The largest usage of gold is in jewelry fabrication (accounting approximately for 80% of annual world production in the past) and consumption (India, United states, European Union, China, Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Turkey, Italy). The balance of gold is used as a storage of value, and as a component in manufacturing electronics, telecommunications equipment, laser and optical equipment, aviation, and medical / health.

    However, in 2009 (and into 2010) jewelry consumption continued to decline as the price of gold continued to increase. In response to the economic recession, consumers in the United States became net sellers of owned gold jewelry in response to the high prices and continued difficult economic conditions. In 2009, 190 metric tons of new and old scrap was recycled, which was more than the reported consumption amount of 170 metric tons.

    In India (and in Indian communities around the world), those who participate in the Hindu festivals of festive season of Ganesh Chaturthi, Dusshera, Dhanteras and Diwali have traditionally purchased gold jewelry as part of the festival observance (Diwali occurs in the late Fall / October). Within India, gold is priced in terms of Rupees / Rs per 10 grams, and there are separate prices for Standard gold (99.5 purity) and pure gold (99.9 purity). There are also separate bullion market rates in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Chennai, Vijayawada, Proddutur, Visakhapatnam, and Rajahmundry.



      Gold Weight & Fineness
     

    Both the troy system and avoirdúpois system are British standards of measurement. Avoirdúpois is derived from the French term "avoir du pois", or goods of weight, and the troy system takes its name from a city in France where it originated (Tries).

    Gross Weight Fine gold content in ounces troy
      Bars of 995.0 assayBars of 999.0 assay Bars of 999.9 assay
    1 Kilo31.99032.11932.148
     ½ Kilo15.99516.05916.074
    ¼ Kilo7.9988.0308.037
    200 grams6.3986.4246.430
    100 grams3.1993.2123.215
    50 grams1.6001.6071.608
    20 grams 0.6400.6430.643
    10 grams0.3210.3220.322
    5 grams0.1610.1610.161
    100 ounces99.50099.90099.990
    50 ounces49.75049.95049.995
    25 ounces24.87524.97524.998
    10 ounces9.9509.9909.999
    5 ounces4.9754.9955.000
    1 ounce0.9950.9991.000
    10 tolas3.7313.7463.750
    5 taels5.9876.0116.017
    Source: London Bullion Market Association


    To convert this:   To this:   Multiply by:  
    One grain Grams .0647989
    One gram Grains 15.4323584
    One gram Kilograms .001
    One kilogram Grams 1,000
    One kilogram Troy Ounces32.15074656
    Long Ton Kilograms 1,016.05
    Metric Ton Kilograms 1,000
    Metric Ton Troy Ounces 32,150.746
    Short Ton Kilograms 907.2
    One gram Ounces .03527
    One ounce Grams 28.3495231
    One ounce Grains 437.5
    One troy ounce Grams 31.1034768
    One troy ounce Grains 480
    One ounce Kilograms .0283495
    One troy ounce Kilograms .0311034768
    One pound Kilograms .4535924
    One kilogram Pounds 2.2046226
    One Tola Grams 11.6638038
    One Tael Grams 50 (People's Republic of China)
    One Tael Grams 37.5 (Hong Kong; Taiwan)


    Gold Weight Conversion Calculator:

    Enter an amount in any box to calculate the equivalent weight.

      Grams Kilograms Pounds Ounces  

      Tons (metric) Tons (long) Tons (short) Pounds  


      Gold Loan / Gold Lending
     
  • Instead of buying gold, a jeweler will borrow gold for the duration of the fabrication process. Only when the jeweler sells the finished product at a price related to the spot rate (and the value added) at that time will the jeweler actually buy gold from the bullion trader. Jewelers thus simultaneously hedge their price risk and finance their stock at an interest rate below normal borrowing costs.
  • An exploration company finds gold and needs to borrow to set up a mine. Instead of borrowing from a bank, the company borrows gold (at a lower interest carrying rate). It sells that gold in the spot market and uses the cash to set up the mine. It will borrow only what it takes to set up the mine and based on how much ounces/tonnage it may extract. As the mine extracts the gold from the ground it pays back the borrowed gold.
  • Lease rate is determined for borrowing the gold, which includes and interest rate (360-day basis) and carrying charges, which are costs incurred in warehousing the physical commodity such as insurance and storage.


  •   Central Bank Holdings (Official Gold Reserves)
     
    The largest offical gold reserves (above ground) include:
  • United States (8,133.5 metric tons)
  • Germany (3,408.3 metric tons)
  • International Monetary Fund (3,217.3 metric tons)
  • Italy (2,451.8 metric tons)
  • France (2,445.1 metric tons)
  • People's Republic of China (1,054.0 metric tons)
  • Switzerland (1,040.1 metric tons)
  • Japan (765.2 metric tons)
  • Netherlands (612.5 metric tons)
  • Rusia (568.4 metric tons)
  • European Central Bank (501.4 metric tons)
  • Source: World Gold Council; September 2009

    The combined holdings of these parties account for approximately 24,197.5 metric tons / 81.7% of total (above ground) gold reserves (29,633.9 metric tons) at September 30, 2009. In November 2009, India purchased 200 metric tons from the IMF.

    The Central Bank Gold Agreement of 1999 (renewed March 2004) requires that the 15 largest government and supranational gold owners restrict their sales into the market at a pace that would not cause substantial disruption of the price (presently a combined maximum of 500 tons per annum for the next five years).

    In the United States, the bulk of United States' gold reserves is stored under security at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository. The balance of any official United States' gold reserves are held in the Philadelphia Mint, the Denver Mint, the West Point Bullion Depository and the San Francisco Assay Office. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also has an extensive gold storage vault, however this is primarily allocated storage for second parties and not U.S. gold reserves. The main vault of the New York Federal Reserve opened September 1924, and the Fed does not charge for the storage service but does charge a nominal handling fee for shipping gold in / out of the vault.



      Gold Industry and the Gold Commodity Market Information Resources
     

    Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholders Association of Western Australia (APLA)   www.apla-prospectors.org.au/

    Artisinal Gold council   www.artisanalgold.org/

    Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE)   www.abare.gov.au/

    Central Office for Precious Metals Control, Federal Customs Administration, Switzerland   www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/00433/index.html?lang=en

    Geoscience Australia (Australian Government)   www.ga.gov.au/minerals/mineral-resources/gold.html

    Gold Fields Mineral Services   www.gfms.co.uk/

    International Council on Mining and Metals   www.icmm.com/

    International Cyanide Management Code   www.cyanidecode.org/

    Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria Australia (PMAV)   www.pmav.org.au/

    The Gold Institute   www.goldinstitute.org/

    London Bullion Market Association   www.lbma.org.uk/

    World Gold Council   www.gold.org/

     




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