In 2001 and 2002 miners were producing gold for sub-$180 cash costs - the operational cost of the mine divided by the ounces of production. By 2005 cash costs had risen 45 percent to US$250. Data from GFMS shows world gold production costs for the first half of 2009 averaged $457/oz. Average cash costs in 2011 were US$657.
According to the Thomson Reuters GFMS’s Gold Survey 2012 global gold mine production was flat (output rose 0.1 percent to 1,366 metric tons) in the first half of 2012. The average grade of ore processed globally dropped 23 percent from 2005 through the end of last year and is forecast to decline another four percent in 2012.