Gold Price Forecast: How the Yellow Metal Will Reach $5,000 per Ounce

Gold price forecast, Sept. 10, 2014: In April 2010 I made a somewhat controversial prediction that gold would reach $5,000 an ounce. I still believe this to be a realistic price target - and now prominent gold mining experts are following suit.

Rob McEwen is more than qualified in the realm of gold mining - he's the founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of GoldCorp Inc. (NYSE: GG), a $20 billion Canadian gold miner and the world's largest by market cap.

And in an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money" in August, McEwen said "I'm a long-term believer in gold and I see it ultimately getting to $5,000 an ounce. Anything short of that, I wouldn't be hedging."

McEwen expects gold to hit his $5,000 target within the next three to four years.

And I agree.

A look at the metal's recent history shows how McEwen and I arrived at this gold price forecast...

Price History Shines a Spotlight on Gold's Potential

Gold Price Forecast

After a decade-long run up, gold's price peaked in September 2011 at $1,900. It's since off by about a third and has been languishing in the $1,300 range for nearly a year and a half.

That's caused many to claim that gold's bull run is over.

But others, including me, believe it's only consolidating before it finally resumes its climb much higher.

That's exactly what happened to the secular gold bull market in the 1970s, when despite a 50% correction that took it from $200 down to $100, gold managed a spectacular run from about $37 to an eventual peak of $800 per ounce. That produced a bull market return of more than 2,000%.

And now a few key catalysts are lined up to drive gold prices higher once again...

Gold Price Forecast: Gold Will Hit $5,000 on These Drivers

A number of fundamental drivers are still firmly in place that will ensure gold reaches new heights:

  • The extended low gold price has caused many gold producers to shutter unprofitable operations, crimping gold output and limiting supply.
  • Fewer gold discoveries have been made, despite massive exploration budget increases since the start of the 2001 gold bull.
  • Producers are resorting to "high-grading" - favoring higher-grade ores over lower-grade ones just to turn a profit.
  • Central banks have been net buyers of gold for the past four years, and official sector gold sales have slowed markedly.

Other drivers that could spark higher gold prices include ongoing geopolitical risks, a currency/inflation crisis, and an eventual announcement by China of its new (much higher) level of gold reserves, among others.

Even at the 2011 peak of $1,900, gold's run from 2001 at $256 was still "only" a 640% gain.

And keep in mind that a gold price forecast of $5,000 an ounce would actually be an 1,800% return, which is still below that of the 1970s.

Consider too that the fundamental drivers this time around are more powerful by an order of magnitude.

Come to think of it - $5,000 gold may end up being rather conservative.

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