Mine production accounts for the largest part of gold supply – typically, 75% each year. However, annual demand requires more gold than is newly mined and the shortfall is made up from recycling.
Mine production does not respond to price changes quickly. There is usually a very long lead time between exploring and finding new gold deposits and mines entering into production.
As it is virtually indestructible, nearly all of the gold ever mined is theoretically still accessible in one form or another and potentially available for recycling.
Recycling is the source of supply that is most immediately responsive to the gold price and economic shocks. The majority of recycled gold - around 90% - comes from jewellery, with gold extracted from technology providing the remaining 10%.
Of course, for gold to be of a guaranteed quality, it needs to be processed and refined.