2022 Top 12 Gold Producing Countries
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Gold prices have rallied over the past few years, sparking interest in the biggest producers. The rise in the price of the precious metal comes amid uncertainty over the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the global economy as well as geopolitical turmoil. These conditions have prompted investors to seek safe-haven assets such as gold.
Gold production levels appear to be weathering the impact of the pandemic so far, but rising inflation could push up costs for miners. The following are the current top 12 gold producing countries.
01Top 1. ChinaBack
Mine output: 370 metric tons (MT)
China is once again the world's largest gold producer. The 370 tonnes mined in 2021 was slightly higher than the 365 tonnes in 2020. China has been at the top of the list for more than a decade.
Back in 2018, production in China fell by 39 tons. The reduction is believed to be a result of new environmental regulations. According to the World Gold Council, China is the world's largest consumer of gold jewelry.
02Top 2. AustraliaBack
Mine output: 330MT
Australian gold production has had another stellar year. It will reach 330 metric tons in 2021, a slight increase of 2 metric tons over the previous year. Recent exploration activity in Western Australia's Pilbara region has sparked renewed interest and helped add to the country's steady gold production.
While the Pilbara region is known for being one of the largest iron ore producers in the world. But the area is currently seeing increased gold exploration thanks to a major discovery in 2017 by Novo Resources and Artemis Resources.
03Top 3. RussiaBack
Mine output: 300MT
In 2021, Russia will again become the third largest gold producer. The country's production has been rising over the past few years, from 255 metric tons in 2017 to 305 metric tons in 2020. According to FitchSolutions, Russia plans to increase its gold production in a bid to become the world's largest gold producer by 2029.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Russia has 6,800 metric tons of gold reserves, the second-largest behind Australia's 11,000 metric tons.
04Top 4. United StatesBack
Mine output: 180MT
U.S. gold production has been in decline for the past few years. In 2021, the United States produced 180 tons, 20 tons less than the previous year. Most of the country's gold is produced from more than 40 mines, several large placer deposits in Alaska and a number of smaller placer deposits in the western United States. The top 26 operations in the country account for 98% of U.S. gold production.
Assessments of U.S. gold resources indicate that the country holds approximately 33,000 metric tons of gold in discovered and undiscovered resources. Additionally, nearly a quarter of the gold in undiscovered resources can be found in porphyry copper deposits. Gold reserves in the United States are estimated at 3,000 metric tons.
05Top 5. CanadaBack
Mine output: 170MT
In 2021, Canada's gold production will be at the same level as in 2020, allowing the country to maintain its position as the fifth largest gold producer. However, the figure was down from 175 tons in 2019 and 183 tons in 2018.
Ontario and Quebec are the country's top gold-producing provinces. Together, they account for more than 70% of Canada's gold production. Gold is the country's most valuable mineral commodity, with $12.3 billion worth of the precious metal produced in 2020, the Canadian government said.
06Top 6. GhanaBack
Mine output: 130MT
In 2021, Ghana will become the sixth largest gold producing country. Gold production in Ghana edged up by 5t over the previous year. It is also worth noting that Ghana is the largest gold producer in Africa, surpassing South Africa in recent years.
Industry giants Anglo Gold Ashanti and Gold Fields have mining operations in Ghana, where production costs are lower than in South Africa.
07Top 7-9. Mexico, South Africa and UzbekistanBack
Mine output: 100MT
Mexico is a well-known gold producer, tied for seventh place with South Africa and Uzbekistan. In 2021, Mexico's gold production fell slightly to 100 metric tons. Gold and silver account for more than 50% of the country's total metal production.
For decades, South Africa has been one of the world's largest gold producers. But between 1980 and 2018, the country's gold production fell by 85%. South Africa has been plagued by political strife in recent years, largely due to clashes between the Association of Miners and Construction Unions (AMCU) and gold producers in the region. The AMCU has staged numerous protests and strikes at several gold and platinum mines over the past few years, hoping to secure more wages and block any mergers that could result in job losses.
The Muruntau gold mine in Uzbekistan is one of the largest open pit mines in the world. Uzbekistan has been producing from old mines for some time and has not seen much investment in exploration.
08Top 10-12. Indonesia, Peru and SudanBack
Mine output: 90MT
Indonesia, Peru and Sudan tied for eighth place on the list of top gold producers. Half of Indonesia's gold production comes from Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg mine, the world's largest gold mine, which is believed to have the world's largest gold reserves.
Gold production in Peru rose slightly from last year, with production increasing by 3 tonnes compared to the previous year to reach 90 tonnes in 2021. Illegal gold mining remains a struggle in the country and has been responsible for the destruction of land, including the precious Amazon forest.
Sudan, a new gold powerhouse on the list, has also had its gold mining industry affected by protests against environmental degradation and gold smuggling. In late 2021, a gold mine collapsed, killing 38 artisanal miners.