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Examining Trends Over The Last 40 Years In The Gold Market

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Examining Trends Over the Last 40 Years in the Gold Market

Gillian Kemmerer: Welcome to the broadcast, I'm Gillian Kemmerer. The gold industry has changed significantly over the past 40 years, with new technology and exploration trends impacting investors. Here to tell us more is Joe Foster, gold and precious metals portfolio manager for VanEck. Joe, thanks for joining us here today.

Joe Foster: Thank you, Gillian.

Kemmerer: I'd like to start with thinking broadly about some of the significant trends and changes in the gold industry. Let's begin with exploration first. What have you seen change over the past 40 years?

Foster: I guess I go back to the '90s. There was an exploration boom in the '90s and it really started after the Cold War which ended, I think, around 1991. All the countries that were being propped up by the Soviet Union around the world lost that support and they had to turn to other areas to generate economic growth. One of the areas was to open up the resource sectors to exploration and development. That generated an exploration boom all around the world and we saw a lot of discoveries, especially in Latin America and Africa at that time. Also at that time, Nevada and Western Australia were emerging as major centers of gold production. These areas are two of the most prolific areas in the world, historically, for gold production. They were really coming on strong in the '90s with a lot of discoveries. Those were sort of the booming years, I guess, in my experience with gold. It hasn't been that way so much recently, mainly because companies aren't having as much success with exploration these days. It seems all of the easier near-surface deposits have been found. We haven't found another prolific area like northern Nevada or Western Australia. During the last bull market, from 2001 to 2011, companies were spending more than ever on exploration, yet we didn't

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