Gold is mined or produced in almost 90 countries around the world. 75% of these are produced by the top 20 and 46.6% by the top five gold producing countries worldwide. Gold production is a big contribution to the world economy and to the economies of these gold producing countries. The historical top producers such as Australia, the United States, Russia and South Africa remain to be on top, but China now holds the number 1 position as the world’s top gold producer with its significant increase in production from 2005 to 2012.
Global gold production in 2012 was 2,700 tonnes, an insignificant increase over the production for 2011 and 100 tonnes higher than the 2,600 tonnes of 2001. Said increases did not match the increases in gold prices from 2001 to 2012. The increase in the price of production from 2001 ($278) and 2012 ($1,664) is $1,386 representing more than 498% increase. Compared to the 3.8% increase in production, the disparity is staggering.
Here are the top 5 gold producing countries in the world for 2012 according to the Gold Investing News.
This is the 6th year for China to top the list. China’s gold production for the year 2012 is 403 tonnes and its official gold holdings is 1,054.1 tonnes. Its gold holdings is one of the largest gold reserve in the world after the US, Germany, the IMF, Italy and France and 1.7% of the world’s reserve. China is also one of the most important gold consuming markets for gold, second only to India. 2011 demand for gold by China is 779.8 tonnes. China’s largest gold producing company is the Zijin Mining Group.
Australia ranked as the 2nd top gold producing country in the world with a total production of 250 tonnes for 2012. From its 8th position in 2008, there was an upsurge in the country’s gold production in 2009 to 2012 that propelled it to the 2nd position. Most of Australia’s gold are from Western Australia (75%) while the state hosts almost 2/3 of the country’s 7,400 tonnes of gold resources. The gold mining industry also contributed US$5.14 billion in mining royalties to Australia’s economy.
With 230 tonnes of gold produced in 2012, the US ranked 3rd in the list of top gold producing countries in the world. It also has an official gold holdings of 8,133.5 tonnes. The US’ gold production for 2012 is valued at $12.6 billion although it is 4 tonnes lower than that of the previous year. Its gold holdings, which is 76.3% of overall foreign currency reserves is considered the largest in the world. 74% of the country’s gold comes from the state of Nevada.
Russia’s gold production for 2012 is 205 tonnes making it the 4th top gold producing country in the world. In addition to being the 4th top gold producer, Russia is also the 4th largest market for gold jewelry globally. The 937.8 tonnes gold holdings of Russia is 9.9% of overall foreign currency reserve.
2012 is the worst year for gold production for South Africa since 1905 with only 170 tonnes of gold mined during the year. The drop in production of approximately 39% is caused by strikes in the country’s gold mines. In the 20th century, South Africa ruled over other countries in the world when it comes to gold production. In fact in 1970, South Africa’s gold production accounted for 79% of the global gold production.