Gold demand among central banks set to remain strong, China sees boost in popularity for gold and sales of silver jewellery in the US are up.
Demand for gold among central banks to continue
Central banks around the world are to continue buying up gold this year, helping to bolster the price of the precious metal, a report suggests. Some 275 tonnes of gold could be acquired by national financial institutions, according to a forecast published by investment bank RBC Capital Markets. Among the factors driving up demand for gold are the state of the international oil market and a drop in the value of local currencies against the US dollar. Russia is set to be one of the main buyers of gold this year as the country seeks to protect its financial position against political uncertainty, the report’s authors suggest.
Ground-breaking gold detection technique in development
A highly-sensitive method of detecting gold could soon be used by miners to detect trace amounts of the metal. The technique, which is being developed by scientists in Australia, is being tested on real rock samples after being used to locate trace amounts of gold in water. It is said to use an advanced form of photonics, a way of detecting particles of light. While accurate, current methods such as X-ray diffraction have limited detection rates, according to the researchers, who are based at the University of Adelaide. It is hoped this new technique will help prevent miners from missing opportunities when drilling for gold.
China gold market surges ahead
China saw a surge in demand for gold in the first quarter of the year, according to the China Gold Association (CGA). Overall, gold consumption hit 326 tonnes between January and March this year, an increase of 1.1% year on year. It comes after a fall in demand in 2014 due to the slowing down of the country’s economy. India took over from China as the world’s biggest gold buyer last year, statistics from the World Gold Council revealed. But despite this, the CGA said there was an increasing demand for gold in China.
Miners granted licence to dig for gold in Scotland
A mining firm has been granted a licence to dig for gold in the hills around a hamlet in Scotland. GreenOre Gold has said there could be as much as 3m ounces of the precious metal in the highlands surrounding Towie in Aberdeenshire. And it has been given permission by the Crown Estate to carry out explorations after a two-year study found the hamlet could be sitting on deposits worth millions. Turkish mining firm Koza Altin Isletmeleri had also applied to be given a licence to investigate further. Gavin Berkenheger, managing director of GreenOre, told The Telegraph newspaper: “Over two years we have found that the whole of Aberdeenshire is a ripe area for gold mineralisation. We’re just trying to locate where in Aberdeenshire the gold deposit is.”
US silver jewellery sales increase
Sales of silver jewellery in the US increased by nearly a fifth on average last year, according to the results of a new survey. The poll, carried out by the National Jeweler magazine, found that 67% of jewellery retailers had seen a jump in silver sales, with an average rise of 17%. And there were further signs of optimism as 89% of retailers said they expected the positive picture to continue over the next several years. According to the results, women between the ages of 20 and 40 buying for themselves were the biggest purchasers.