The world gold council WGC in the gold 2048 collection claims an expanding middle class contingent in countries like China and India will drive increased demand for gold in the coming decades.

The lengthy report collates several contributions from various experts in finance, international relations and the gold sector, who have come together to discuss potential developments over the next 30 years of the gold industry which is seemingly as malleable as the metal itself.

According to a foreword by WGG chief executive officer Aram Shishmanian the gold mining industry is going to be challenged to produce as much gold in the next 30 years as it has done during recent years.

An emergent middle –class population in large countries such as China and India in combination with broader economic growth are expected to have significant impact on gold demand.

Environmental social and political issues are also expected to prove important in reshaping the gold mining industry global gold production hit its seven consecutive all-time record in 2016.

David Byuers, interim chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia MCA comments on the WCG’s report saying that Australia needs strong governmental support to meet new challenges within the gold industry particularly regarding tech sector applications.

the recent risk of increased gold royalties in Western Australian and the northern territory shows a short – sighted approach to encouraging a world class Australian industry at a time when production costs are growing he says.

Australia has already missed an opportunity in the past decade. The report shows much of the recent growth in global gold demand has been supplied from new emerging gold regions and mines in other parts of the world.

Both federal and state governments must support Australian gold miners with stable royalty and tax system sound environmental regulation and a commitment to exploration programs if Australia is to make the most of the next phase of technology –led grows in gold demand.

while gold exploration budgets continue to rise within the gold mining industry new gold discoveries have actually decreased.

contributor Mark Fellows head of mine supply at Metals Focus estimates a consistent gold price of $US1500/oz will be required to maintain global production levels at their current standard subject to certain conditions.

Currently Canada and Australia possess the world’s largest gold exploration budgets among mining companies, but it is expected that the industry will become increasingly diversified over the next 30 years.

Shishmanian admits that some changes, whether it involves the gold mining sector, or gold industry at large, will be hard to predict.

“The next 30 years will no doubt bring significant changes — some we anticipate, some that none of us predict,” explains Shishmanian.

“I am delighted that in Gold 2048 we have brought together a stellar set of contributors — economists, investment managers, leaders in the mining industry, as well as our own specialists — to consider the global trends and dynamics that will drive this fascinating market forward.”

Away from mining, the demands of new technologies are also expected to provide a significant impact on gold demand.

Gold 2048 contributors Chen Daofu and Sun Fei from the Finance Research Institution of the Development Research Centre of the State Council, refer to China’s economic transformation as “one of the most influential global trends of the last 30 years”, and point out that China’s economy is expected to grow by 4.8 per cent per year between 2020 and 2035, with technology likely to account for around half of China’s economic growth by 2030.

In addition, China’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) will increase to $US160 trillion by 2050, around 30 per cent of gross world product (GWP).

In India, the second-largest consumer of gold in the world after China, the middle-class are expected to become by far the dominant social and economic class by 2048.

Gold 2048 contributor Dr Rajesh Shukla, managing director and chief executive officer of the People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) explains in his essay, The great Indian middle class: a force to reckon with, that India has the potential over the next three decades to become the world’s fastest-growing economy (5–6 per cent annual growth).

According to PRICE research, the current population of deprived and aspiring Indians will fall from the current 1.1 billion to 150 million by the 2040s, a massive increase in the middle classes from around 19 per cent to over 70 per cent of the country.

“Gold is especially popular in India and China, where the average family has more faith in the physical asset as a store of value than financial securities,” explains Rick Lacaille, executive vice president and global chief investment officer of State Street Global Advisors in his report, The investment market in 2048.

“However, the incentive to switch from physical assets to securities will depend on stability and confidence in financial markets, which in turn will depend on broader political stability,” he adds.

“We may also see the emergence of new commodities and stores of value, either as components of new products or as cheaper, more effective and resilient materials.”