The supply of new gold to the market is entirely through mining. Today there are over 900 gold mines in operation all over the world with a combined production of over 3,000 tonnes of gold each year. In addition, passive and existing gold are added through recycling, sales and gold loans from official reserves. There is a growing shortage of new major gold deposits found and coming into production, while available reserves in existing mines are being extracted at a faster rate as a result of the gradual introduction of more efficient technology.
Gold production from mines is significantly lower than demand, and the deficit has so far been covered by other sources, as mentioned above, including recycling and earlier also by the sale of gold reserves from the central banks of states. In 2017, the total supply of recycled gold was approximately 1,160 tonnes, representing 27 percent of the total supply. Since 2010, central banks have been net buyers of gold. Besides these, it is primarily private consumers who drive the demand for gold.