The gold and silver mining industry consists of companies whose primary business activities are exploring, mining and refining precious metals such as gold and silver. This industry also includes precious metal royalty and streaming companies. Below is current consensus forecast data on unit economics such as production volume, average benchmark price and all-in sustaining cost per unit (AISC); financials, including total revenue and free cash flow; and key ratios, such as EBITDA margin and return on average equity. These key gold and silver mining metrics aid market participants in identifying mining industry trends and future performance of mining companies, such as Newmont Goldcorp, Zijin Mining and Evolution Mining. View all gold and silver mining resources >
What are the most important gold and silver mining KPIs?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most important business metrics for a particular industry and are where investors should look to find an investment edge. When understanding market expectations for the mining industry, whether at a company or industry level, here are some of the gold and silver mining KPIs to consider:
- Production Volume
- Average Benchmark Price
- Average Realized Price
- All-In Sustaining Cost Per Unit (AISC)
What questions do these key gold and silver mining metrics answer?
With Visible Alpha’s mining industry forecast data, you can discover:
- Which mining company is expected to be the primary gold producer in the next two years?
- Which mining company is realizing the highest price on a per troy-ounce basis compared to the previous year?
- Which mining company is expected to realize the highest price on a per troy-ounce basis in the next two years?
- Which mining company is the lowest-cost primary gold producer?
How can this data be used?
By opening up forecast data on key mining KPIs, Visible Alpha is enabling institutional investors, retail investors, business reporters, students and more to quantify and compare market expectations for companies across the gold and silver mining industry.
How do I attribute Visible Alpha?
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This guide highlights the key performance indicators for the gold & silver mining industry and where investors should look to find an investment edge, including:
- Industry Business Model & Diagram
- Key Commercial Banking Metrics PLUS Visible Alpha’s Standardized Industry Metrics
- Available Comp Tables
- Industry KPI Terms & Definitions
A mineral resource is a concentration of solid material of economic interest in or on the earth’s crust in such form, grade or quality and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The quantity of available minerals in a deposit is an estimated number based on the level of geological knowledge and confidence.
Mineral Reserves (2P Reserves)
Mineral reserves are the economically mineable part of mineral resources. It is the sum of proven and probable reserves.
Exploration is the prospecting, sampling, mapping, diamond drilling and other work involved in searching for ore.
A mixture of ore minerals and gangue from which at least one of the metals can be extracted at a profit.
Reserve grade is the estimated metal content of an entire ore body based on mineral reserves. It is measured in “grams per ton of ore” in the case of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum, and reported in “percentage on per ton of ore” for base metals such as copper and zinc.
Head grade is the average grade of ore fed into a mill. The higher the grade, the more gold per volume of ore.
Recovery rate is the percentage of valuable metal in the ore that is recovered by metallurgical treatment. It depends on ore quality and treatment plant efficiency.
Concentrate is a semi-finished product in the form of a powder containing a higher percentage of valuable metal. Concentrate is produced after the milling process.
Metal in Concentrate (MIC)
The quantity of valuable metal available in the concentrate
Byproduct is a secondary metal or mineral product recovered in the milling process
Byproduct credit is revenue from the sale of byproduct metals. It is deducted from total production costs in the computation of non-GAAP unit cash costs of primary metal.
Includes cash operating cost (such as mining, processing, TC/RC, transportation, SG&A cost), royalties and production taxes and byproduct credits.
All-In Sustaining Cost Per Unit (AISC)
AISC is a non-GAAP measure of fully loaded cash cost of producing a mineral at current operating mines through the life of the mine. AISC includes cash cost, sustaining exploration spending, royalties and taxes, sustaining capex and corporate overheads.
All-In Costs Per Unit (AIC)
AIC includes AISC plus other costs unrelated to the company’s current operations, such as non-sustaining exploration costs, growth capex, etc.
Stripping ratio is the quantity of waste removed per ton of ore mined from an open-pit mine.
A mine that is entirely on the surface. Also referred to as an open-cut or opencast mine.
Ore body lies a considerable distance below the surface.
Gold Equivalent Ounce (GEO)
Gold equivalent ounce (GEO) is total revenue (including byproduct revenue) divided by the average gold realized price. This derived number is a synthetic/estimated volume of gold sold if 100% of the revenue were from gold.
Capital expenditures incurred to sustain and maintain existing assets at the mine at their current production capacity to achieve constant planned levels of productive output.
The restoration of a site after mining or exploration activity is completed.
A carat measures the grade or purity of gold, with 24-carat gold being 99.9% pure and the most malleable form of gold. Twenty-two-carat gold is 22 parts gold and two parts silver, zinc, nickel or other alloys. Twenty-two-carat gold is harder than 24 carats and therefore finds applications in jewelry. Diamond and other studded jewelry are made from 18-carat gold (75% gold and 25% other metals).
Gold Bars, Biscuits and Wafers
Investors and dealers buy gold in the form of bars (400 troy-ounce or 438.9 ounce standard). Thinner and lighter forms of bars are known as biscuits or wafers.
1 Imperial Ounce (Oz) = 28.3495 grams
1 Troy Ounce (Oz t)= 31.103 grams (or 1.097 imperial pounce)
Production volume is the total volume of gold recovered from mining and processing of ore. It is a function of the quantity of ore processed, head ore grade and recovery rates.
Volume sold is the total volume of refined gold sold during the period.
Benchmark Average Price
Benchmark average price is the exchange traded spot market price of gold per oz at which it can be sold or bought immediately in the international marketplace.
Average Realized Price
Average realized price is the actual selling price of gold for a given period.
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