Gold is a precious metal that often occurs in free elemental form in rocks and in alluvial deposits. A major portion of world’s gold production is consumed in making jewelry. Currently, China is the world's largest gold producer, followed by Australia.
Here are the top gold producing countries in the world:
Producing 440 metric tons of gold in 2017, China is the top gold producing country in the world. The country is estimated to possess gold reserves of 2,000 metric tons, according to a report by the US Geological Survey (USGS). China is also the largest consumer of gold in the world. Gold production is majorly carried out in the eastern provinces of Shandong, Henan, Fujian and Liaoning in the country. China National Gold Group is one of the major gold producing companies in the country. In April 2016, the company announced the acquisition of 82% interest in the Jinfeng gold mine in China’s southern Guizhou province from Eldorado Gold. The Jinfeng gold mine is an open-pit and underground mine, which uses Biox technology and a conventional carbon in leach circuit to produce gold doré.
With a gold production of 300 metric tons last year, the country stands second in the list of top gold producing countries in the world. Some of the major gold mines in the country include Cadia-Ridgeway Mine, Northparkes, Mount Morgan Mine, Cracow, Queensland, Carrapateena, and Challenger mine. Australia is projected to have gold reserves of 9,800 metric tons, according to USGS report. In August 2017, OZ Minerals said that it would go ahead with the construction of the Carrapateena copper gold mine in South Australia at a cost of A$916m ($724m).
Producing 255 metric tons of gold in 2017, Russia is at third spot in the list of top gold producers in the world. The country has estimated gold reserves of 5,500 metric tons. Polyus Gold and Nordgold are among the major gold producing companies in the country. The country is home to one of the world’s biggest gold mines, Olimpiada gold mine. Owned and operated by Polyus Gold, the Olimpiada gold mine is estimated to contain proven and probable reserves of 28 million ounces. The ore extracted from the mine is processed at three plants with a combined capacity of 12.2 mln tonnes of ore annually. In June, Polyus Gold announced the completion of scoping study and verification drilling programme at Sukhoi Log project, which will involve an estimated construction capital expenditure of up to $2.5bn.
The North American nation recorded a gold production of 245 metric tons in 2017, according to the USGS report. The country stands at fourth place in the list of top gold producers in the world. The value of the gold produced by the US last year was estimated to be about $9.9bn. Over 99% of the gold produced in the US was from the top 26 operations. The country saw a 10% growth in gold production in 2017, due to increases in production from the Cortez Mine in Nevada and the Cresson Mine in Colorado. Some of the major gold mines in the country include Carlin Trend gold mine, Goldstrike mine, Cortez gold mine, and Cripple Creek and Victor. Newmont Mining, Freeport-McMoRan, Rosario Mining Company and Coeur Mining are some of the gold producing companies in the US.
With a gold production of 180 metric tons in 2017, Canada is the fifth top gold producing country in the world. Aura Minerals, Barrick Gold, Centerra Gold, and Goldcorp are some of the major gold producing companies in the country. Brucejack mine and Hope Bay mine were the new mines to commence production in 2017.