Reserves of gold held by a country and its gold production capacity is a significant contributing factor in economies all over the world. Here’s a comprehensive list of the largest gold producers in the world.
The unique luster, the color, the feel, all tends to add to gold a factor of elitism that is admired by all, sought by many and acquired by few. Till very recent times gold was used to set monetary standards across countries, the practice was stopped only due to the discontinuation of gold coins as a medium of exchange. As a mineral with so much value attached to it, there are a large number of countries who run in to meet the demand for the vibrant market. The newly produced gold is used for jewelry manufacturing, industrial purposes and is also stocked up as investments. India was the single largest consumer of gold until 2012 when overtaken by China in 2013. As is set to top the list once again in 2015 it would only be fair if we were to look at the ten largest gold producing countries in the world who provide for the ever increasing appetite for gold in the world.
10. Largest Gold Producers: Ghana
Ghana is the 10th largest gold producer in the country with 90 metric tons. Though it occupies the last position within the list Ghana was once famed for being the Gold Coast, today it has an estimated 1400 tons in reserve and quickly diminishing gold resources. It has managed to remain within the largest gold producers over the years but may not find itself inclined to produce such large amounts for much longer.
9. Largest Gold Producers: Mexico
Mexico accounted for 92 metric tons in 2014 and has potential to climb higher within the ranks due to increase in production rates. Gold production in Mexico recorded a rise of 81% in just over eight years from 2008 to 2014. Within Mexico, the largest reserves are held by Goldcorp’s Los Filos mine while the La Herradura mine is the single most productive mine in Mexico.
8. Largest Gold Producers: Uzbekistan
Boasting of the world’s biggest open-pit mine in the world, Uzbekistan is a country that happens to be rich in many a mineral resources along with gold. It figures in the eighth position with 102 metric tons of gold production. The gold produced is generally nationalized and the doubly landlocked country might have difficulties in the transportation of the produced gold, but nonetheless it clearly isn’t causing them to pause production.
7. Largest Gold Producers: South Africa
Once the unbeaten producer of gold in the world throughout the twentieth century, South Africa now figures a distant seventh position in gold production. It recorded 150 metric tons and a negative 7% in production. There is around 35 large scale operating mines in South Africa presently including the record-making 3.9 km deep TauTona gold mine. It also witnesses the largest gathering of mining stakeholders during the annual Indaba Mining Conference in Cape Town. Gold mining happens to be the driving factor of the country’s participation in the global economy and it has around 6000 tons of unexploited mines.
6. Largest Gold Producers: Peru
Peru has always been linked with gold historically right from the ancient Incan Empire to the Spanish invasion. A mythical story about the fabled city of gold El Dorado has driven explorers and treasure hunters from around the world over the centuries in search of gold to this place and it would make considerable sense for the country to have a position of the largest gold producers in the world. Peru comes a good sixth in the list with 150.0 metric tons and a negative 10% in production. The country is Latin America’s largest gold producer and a significant contributor of gold within the Americas though it comes second only to its neighbor, the USA in terms of production. The Yanacocha mine is the largest mine of Peru and also of Latin America. With most of the Peruvian gold mines situated in high altitude zones and extensive increase in gold mining, has caused adverse effects on the Peruvian environment resulting in environmental deterioration of the surrounding areas.
5. Largest Gold Producers: Canada
Canada displayed maximum growth rate in gold production with a recorded +15% increase in production and 160 metric tons of gold. Canada is also home to the most number of mining companies figuring in the top 100 mining companies of the world. Canada is rich in many other important minerals and also boasts of some of the smallest gold mines among the countries featuring in this list.
4. Largest Gold Producers: USA
The USA accounts for 211 tons of gold and due to a negative increase in production dropped from third to the fourth largest producer of gold from 2013 to 2014. Major mines of the country are in the Nevada, Alaska, California, Colorado and South Dakota states. Nevada alone accounts for 74% of the total gold production of the USA. The USA is also the biggest holder of sovereign gold reserves, nearly 26% of the world’s total much of it held in Fort Knox, Kentucky. But the interesting fact is that most of USA’s gold is actually stored down in the vaults of New York as Federal Reserves which accounts for 75% of its foreign reserves. Due to sky rocketing prices of gold in recent years, the dysfunctional gold mines of Montana have been opened up resulting in the rise in statistics of gold production.
3. Largest Gold Producers: Russia
Russia comes a rough third with 245.0 metric tons and a recorded increase of 9% in production. Russia possesses 1/6th of the entire land mass of the world and due to its large surface area would obviously account for considerably large amounts of gold deposits under its soil. The largest producer within Russia is Polyus, which operates the Olympiada mine, the single biggest producer of gold in Russia. With more than 5000 tons of unmined reserves, along the far eastern reaches of Siberia and beyond, Russia also happens to be one of the biggest market for gold consumerism in the world and along with increasing its production it has also been steadily importing gold to support the rise in internal consumption.
2. Largest Gold Producers: Australia
Accounting for 270 metric tons and a +1% in production, Australia happens to be the second largest gold producer of the world. Western Australia alone accounts for 75% of Australian gold production. Since the initial gold rush starting in the Australian state of Victoria in 1851, Australia has steadily and consistently been among the largest gold producers in the world. This inflow of migrants to make fortunes through gold mining has promoted agricultural and industrial development in the country. It holds 80 tons or 9.3% of its foreign reserves and more than 7400 tons of unmined reserves. Australia is one of the major exporters of gold to the world.
1. Largest Gold Producers: China
With 450.0 metric tons, China tops the list of Gold producers of the world. Unlike in India where gold is primarily used for jewelry making, in China it is used in manufacturing processes and retail. It has seen an increase of 6% in gold production. China has a large number of small scale mining operations whose numbers are dropping due to mergers and acquisitions by its larger gold mining companies. Zijinshan Gold & Copper Mine is the single largest producer of gold in the country. China also happens to be the top consumer of gold in the world and thereby most of the gold produced stays within the country. With increasing foreign and domestic investments the gold mining industry of China is flourishing and booming and is bound to reach new heights.