L’ gold can be defined in different ways. It is both a chemical element (atomic number 79, symbol Au), a precious metal used for its colour and its ductile and soft material that cannot be altered by water and air and a valuable item become a currency since ancient times. These three definitions of gold correspond to the three most important uses of gold:
- The element chemical or the material that is gold has applications in several industrial sectors;
- The precious metal is essential to the jewellery sector;
- The valuable object is the subject of hoarding, investments, financial investments.
The gold market therefore includes several sectors of activity, most material ( gold mining, processing, industrial use, jewellery ) to the most intangible ( speculation on the financial markets ). The gold market is therefore a very important market for focused which consists of the business lines around the raw material (extraction, gold production) but also all the players who derive directly (jewellers, jewellers) or indirectly (stock market speculation) from the underlying.
Through gold production, it is the entire gold sector that adapts to the changes in the price of an ounce of gold as it has always been a countercyclical safe haven . Nevertheless, the entire supply chain must adapt to the needs of rising production costs which are expected to have a significant impact on post-2015 market growth. In addition, gold producers are facing the stock speculation (the "paper gold" market) and try to find alternatives in order to maintain price levels that reflect the reality of supply and demand and not the speculation of certain players.
The gold sector is highly concentrated because the barriers to entry are raised to operate gold mines. Production costs are increasingly high, forcing players to produce very large volumes to be profitable.
L' Africa holds 40% of the world's gold reserves. It is therefore a rich continent with great potential. The African gold market is worth more than 65 billion dollars and South Africa is the leading producer in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, with 140 tonnes produced in 2016, despite the decline in its power (followed by Ghana, Sudan and Mali). Gold accounts for 70% of Mali's export profits and is the second largest source of GDP. Second largest gold producer in the world behind the China and in front of the United States , l' Australia is the global leader in industrial mineral resources, with an average annual production of more than 270 tonnes of gold, representing 20% of world gold production.
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