Biggest Gold Producing Country
Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world, representing between 0.001 and 0.006 parts per million of the earth’s crust. But how much gold does the world mine each year and which countries produce the most? Here are the biggest gold producing country: China, Russia, Australia, United States, Canada, Ghana, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Indonesia.
Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world, representing between 0.001 and 0.006 parts per million of the earth’s crust. But how much gold does the world mine each year and which countries produce the most?
The following are further details of the 10 countries with the largest gold production in 2020, starting with China as the top producer as well as the top consumer. All data is from WGC and as of June 2021.
China – 368.3 tons
For many years the biggest gold producing country is in China. And it was the leading producing nation, accounting for 11% of global mining production. However, production fell from 383 tons to 368 last year, marking the fourth consecutive year of decline. This downward trend is largely due to tougher environmental policies imposed by the government. For example, tighter controls on the use of cyanide in gold mines has forced several operations to reduce production.
Russia – 331.1 tons
A huge majority of European gold comes from Russia, which has been increasing its production every year since 2010. In 2019, Russia overtook Australia to become the world’s second largest producer. Who is the biggest buyer of Russian gold? The Russian government, of course, which buys about two-thirds of all locally produced gold.
Australia – 327.8 tonnes
Australia now has eight consecutive years of increased production. The mineral industry produces more than half of Australia’s total exports and generates around 8% of GDP. Higher production at several mines and the ramp-up of projects such as Mount Morgans and Cadia Valley contributed to the production increase.
United States – 190.2 tons
Gold production in the United States fell below 200 tons for the first time in several years, continuing a decline that began in 2019. Nearly 80% of the gold produced in the United States comes from Nevada. If this state was its own country, it would be one of the top 10 miners in the world.
Canada – 170.6 tonnes
Canada has been in fifth place for four years now, even after extracting 12 tonnes less in 2020 than the year before. The country’s first gold mine was Canadian Malartic, jointly owned by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle, which was responsible for producing more than 16 tonnes last year.
Ghana – 138.7 tons
Ghana is Africa’s largest gold producer, overtaking South Africa for the first time in 2019, and is also known for its reserves of various industrial minerals. The majors in the sector, such as AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields, have abandoned South Africa in favor of Ghana, where the deposits are cheaper and easier to exploit.
Brazil – 107.0 tons
Rising from the number 10 spot in 2019, Brazil increased its production for the third consecutive year. Illegal mining activity has increased sharply over the past six years in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed the country to economically develop the Amazon and exploit its mineral wealth.
Uzbekistan – 101.6 tons
Uzbekistan significantly increased its production last year, from 94.6 tons in 2019 to 101.6 tons, the first time it exceeded 100 tons in a year. The Central Asian country is home to Muruntau, the world’s largest open pit gold mine by area. The project, which also contains huge deposits of turquoise and arsenic, sits atop what many geologists believe could be the world’s largest gold reserve.
Mexico – 101.6 tons
Although production has fallen for the fifth consecutive year, Mexico remains a competitive source of gold. Production rose from just 50.8 tonnes in 2008 to peak at over 131 tonnes in 2015, one of the biggest increases over this period. Mexico is an attractive location for mining due to relatively low regulatory cost.
Indonesia – 100.9 tons
Indonesia is home to the second largest and tallest gold mine in the world, Grasberg, which is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia and has no less than 20,000 workers. This South Pacific country is responsible for harvesting around 3% of the world’s supply.