Like no other metal on earth, gold has captured the imaginations and emotions of humans across centuries. From jewelry and sculpture, to a store of wealth and symbol of status few other elements could claim the mantle of historic importance like gold can. Traded on many exchanges with both cash and futures contracts,
GOLD PRODUCING COUNTRIES;
AUSTRALIA, BOLIVIA, BURKINA FASO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ETIOPIA, FIJI, GHANA, GUINEA, GUYANA, KYRGYZTAN, MALI, MAURITANIA, NAMIBIA, NICARAGUA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PERU, SOUTH AFRICA, TANZANIA, UGANDA, UZBEKISTAN & ZIMBABWE.
THE TEN (10) LARGEST GOLD PRODUCERS;
Most of us know that Gold prices shoot up during a recession, and have in fact recently broken record prices per ounce. Gold is effectively the currency of the world when financial systems are doubted and paper currency sees volatile fluctuations. It’s a strange concept really, why Gold and why not Diamonds? or Platinum? Who knows, but it’s just the way that it is. If you have found this simple page then it is likely that you wish to know which countries in the world produce the most gold, so here you have it.... a list of the Top Gold Producers. Statistics are sourced from Gold Fields Mineral Services Ltd (Gold Survey 2006).
SOUTH AFRICA (393.2 TONES);
South Africa remained the world’s biggest producer of gold in 2006, with a 'production' of 396.3 tones. This is well below the countries all time production high which is 619.5 tones and was achieved back in 1993. This figure equates to 15.7% of the world’s total gold production. South Africa is now the second largest gold producer. It is the first time since 1905 that the country has not been the largest. About 95% of South Africa's gold mines are underground operations, reaching depths of over 3.8 km. Due to declining ore grades, increased depth of mining, personnel problems, power interruptions and rising production costs the output has been steadily falling. South Africa has vast gold ore reserves, estimated at 40,000 ton and representing about 40% of global reserves. South Africa's main gold producing mines are located on the Archaean Witwatersrand Basin. This basin has been mined for more than 100 years and has produced more than 41,000 t of gold. Unlike most of the world’s major gold deposits, the Witwatersrand ("Wits") is an ancient placer deposit, with gold being hosted by conglomerates and grits. The Wits sedimentary basin stretches through an arc of approximately 400 km across the Free State, North West and Gauteng Provinces.
AUSTRALIA (262.9 TONES;
The second largest gold producer of 2005 was Australia who produced a total of 262.9 tons of gold, this is the first time that Australia jumped the USA in gold production despite their production having peaked at 313.2 tones back in 1997. Australia’s output equates to around 10.4% of total world output. Gold is produced all over Australia, but Western Australia (WA) is by far the largest gold producing state, producing about 155 t of gold in 2007, which represented just under two-thirds of the country’s total output. New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland are also relatively large producers with NSW producing 35 ton in 2007 and Queensland producing 21 ton. Australia's largest producer in 2007 was the Telfer operation in WA where 0.62 Moz was produced. Telfer was followed by the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie where production was almost 0.61 Moz and Sunrise Dam which produced 0.60 Moz (18.7 t). Similar 2008 production figures have been reported by these major gold mines. In terms of exploration, new gold mineralization was found across Australia and at depths below known deposits in a variety of mineralization styles. The Archaean greenstones of Western Australia's Yilgarn Craton remain a very favorable target but substantial opportunities exist in other provinces too.
USA (261.7 TONES);
And that brings us to the USA who slipped back into third place in 2005, being overtaken by Australia for the first time, but having still produced an impressive 261.7 tons of gold in the year. This equated to 10.3% of total world gold output. Gold production in the United States is mainly concentrated in the states of Nevada, Alaska, Utah, and Colorado. There are also gold operations and exploration projects in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Nevada is the leading gold-producing state, and ranked fourth after China, South Africa and Australia in gold production worldwide. Mines in Nevada accounted for almost 82% of domestic production in 2006. Almost all the gold in Nevada comes from open pit mining and is recovered by means of cyanide heap leaching. One of the largest gold operations in the U.S. is the Carlin mine in northeast Nevada, which is producing gold from a large low-grade deposit. In Alaska, gold was produced at lode mines, a dozen large placer mines, and numerous small placer mines, mostly in Alaska and the Western States. Much of the gold produced in Alaska was mined from placer deposits occurring along many of the major rivers and tributaries. The principal placer-mining region has been the Yukon River basin which crosses central Alaska. Beach deposits of the Nome district rank second among productive placer deposits of Alaska.
CHINA (224.1 TONES);
At 4th in the world in 2005 was China (who I believe have jumped up the list since 2005) with 224.1 tones, equivalent to 8.8% of the world total. In 2007, China overtook South Africa to become the world’s top gold producer. Now China leads the world in gold mining output, having upped its production in 2007 by 12% over 2006, producing 9.7 Moz (276 metric tons) according to GFMS. Production has usually been concentrated in the eastern provinces of Shandong, Henan, Fujian and Liaoning. Recently, western provinces such as Guizhou and Yunnan have seen a sharp increase in their gold output.
Advancements in metallogenic theory and exploration methods for Carlin-type (Nevada) gold deposits by American geologists have been successfully applied to China. Over 100 Carlin-type gold deposit occurrences have been identified in southwest and central China. Chinese Carlin-type deposits are present along the margin of the Precambrian Yangtz craton. Additional deposits lie in the West Qinling area in the Qinling fold belt where many intrusive rocks are present. China has 650 t of gold reserves and plans to increase it to 3,000 t over a 5 years period.
PERU (207.8 TONES);
Next is Peru how produced 207.8 tons of the world total for 2005, equivalent to 8.2% of world production. Gold recovered as a byproduct from the concentrates of Peru’s polymetallic mines amounted to 2.6 t in 2006. Large, medium, and small producers contributed 187 t, while an unknown number of placers exploited by artisan miners reported 15.8 t. Placer gold is being produced mostly in the Inca and the Mariategui Regions and from rivers and streams throughout the jungle. The LNAMBARI RIVER and its tributaries represent a well-known placer zone located in South Eastern Andes.
The Yanacocha mine in the Andes in northern Peru is considered one of the biggest and most profitable in the world – it has produced over US$7 billion worth of gold to date (2008). The Yanacocha gold deposits are high sulfidation epithermal gold deposits, with varying amounts of silver. The Yanacocha gold district is a 10 km x 4 km zone of altered rocks within a belt of Tertiary volcanics that extends the whole length of Peru. This volcanic arc also hosts the Pierina and Lagunas Norte deposits.
RUSSIA (175.5 TONES);
In 6th place fell Russia who, with 175.5 tons produced in 2005, accounted for 7% of the world’s total gold output for the year.
INDONESIA (166.6 TONES);
In 7th place was Indonesia who finished slightly behind Russia on 166.6 tones for the year. This accounted for 6.6% of annual world gold production.
CANADA (118.5 TONES);
In 8th place was Canada who, with 118.5 tons produced, accounted for 4.7% of the world’s gold output. Considering Canada has a relatively small population, this is rather impressive.
UZBEKISTAN (79.3 TONES);
A further 3.1% of world gold production for 2005 can be attributed to the country of Uzbekistan, who produced a total 79.3 tons of gold for the year.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (68.8 TONES);
The 10th largest gold producer with 68.8 tones is Papua New Guinea, who provided the world with 2.7% of its total output for the year.
THE REST OF THE WORLD;
The 10 top gold producers in the world accounted for 77.5% of total world gold production for 2005, meaning that the worlds remaining nations produced a total of 22.5%. Almost all countries have at least a small natural reserve of gold, however much of this gold is seen as unviable for mining until stocks have been depleted and prices are pushed further.
GOLD & OTHER RESERVES (US $BILLION END-MARCH, 2009)
Gold ReservesTones Total Reserves Held in Gold%
United States 8,134 303.6 79%
Germany 3,413 143.3 70%
IMF 3,217 N/A N/A
France 2,453 97.4 74%
Italy 2,452 108.0 67%
China 1,054 1,987.0 02%
Switzerland 1,040 80.6 38%
Japan 0,765 1,018,6 2%
Netherlands 0,612 29.1 62%
ECB 0,68.1 23%
SOURCE: IMF, MAY 2009 (CENTRAL BANK)!
Largely due to gold having been the basis of monetary systems through to the 1960s, the yellow metal has continued to take up a significant portion of central banks’ official reserves (a global average of 10% at end-March 2009). According to GFMS date, at end-2008 official sector gold holdings accounted for over 30,000 tons, a figure equivalent to more than 11 years of global mine production. Given this information, the importance of official sector activity to the gold market and for the price of the metal is self-evident. Moreover, history provides the evidence to support this. First of all, the shift by the official sector from a broadly neutral positing in the 1970s and 1980s to substantial net sales in the 1990s and through to the current decade was a factor (among others) that resulted in gold prices falling well below the $300 mark in the late 1990s.
More recently the “anti-gold”
climate that was prevalent throughout the 1990s and in the early part of the
current decade seems to have come to an end. Although the official sector
remains a net seller overall, sentiment towards gold, as well as the appearance
of small-scale purchases by certain countries has shifted to one considering
the metal as an important reserve asset. The change in sentiment has been
boosted by the prolonged period of US dollar weakness, coupled with gold’s
strong performance and demonstrable portfolio diversification properties.
(Source” GFMS) In late April China decided to tell the world that it had been
quietly accumulating gold. The head of the State Administration of Foreign
Exchange (SAFE), which controls the bulk of China’s foreign reserves, announced
that the nation had increased its official gold holdings by 75% or 454 tons
since the end of 2003 to a current level of 1,054 tons. This increase makes
China the sixth largest gold holder globally, after the United States, Germany,
IMF, (International Monetary Fund) France and Italy.
Often considered more precious than gold, platinum is a rare and fascinating metal. Its resistance to most corrosive elements has made it an ideal choice for several industrial (as well as decorative) applications, but its apparent rarity of occurrence in the Earth's crust has also made it a volatile market.
PLATINUM PRODUCING COUNTRIES!
This precious metal is the other major member of the platinum group.
Silver, like gold, has had a long history of use for adornments and currency. This ductile metal has woven its way into history - evidenced by its chemical symbol Ag from the Latin argentum - and even found a home in popular myths as the white ward against evil creatures. Futures and physical contracts trade on more than one exchange.
SILVER PRODUCING COUNTRIES!
Dominican Republic & Mexico!
This ductile metal is famed for its thermal and electrical conductivity and graces all kinds of products in homes and commercial applications. Over thousands of years, copper and its alloys have been present in civilization and contributed to the history of humankind. In fact, when alloyed within to become bronze, copper.