China is the largest gold producing country in the world, producing 403t (tonnes) of gold in 2012, an 11.7% increase in production over the previous year.
The country accounted for 13.7% of the global gold production in 2012. China also tops the list in gold consumption.
The majority of the Chinese gold production comes from five provinces, namely Shandong, Henan, Jiangxi, Yunnan and Fujian. Zijin Mining Company, which operates Zijinshan gold and copper mine, is the country’s largest gold producer.
Australia is the second main gold producing country in the world. It produced 253t of gold during 2011-12, a four percent decrease over 2010-11production. Australia contributed 9.31% of global gold output in 2012.
Most of the Australian gold mines are located in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales, with 71% of gold production coming from Western Australia alone. Australia’s reserves of gold as of December 2012 were estimated at 7,400t (13.7% of the global total) by the US Geological Survey.
United States of America
The United States, which accounts for 3.5% of global gold reserves, is the third largest gold producing country in the world. It produced 230t of gold in 2012, a decline by 4t from 2011. The US accounted for 8.5% of global gold production in 2012.
The gold production comes predominantly from five states – Nevada, Alaska, California, Colorado and South Dakota. More than 74% of gold is mined from Nevada alone.
Carlin Trend gold mine, operated by Newmont in Nevada, is the US’s largest gold mine, containing gold reserves of 17.83Moz.
Russia ranks as the fourth largest gold producing country. It produced 205t of gold in 2012, a 6.8% increase over 2011 production.
Russia contributed 7.6% of the global gold output in 2012.The country’s gold reserves were estimated at around 5000t as of December 2012 by US Geological Survey.
Gold producing mines in Russia are mainly located in six eastern regions – Amur, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk, Magadan and Sakha-Yakutia.
Olympiada mine, operated by Polyus Gold, is the largest gold producer in the country, which produced 720Koz of gold in 2011.
Historically the largest gold producing country, South Africa currently ranks as the fifth largest. The country’s gold production in 2012 stood at 170t (6.3% of global production) compared to 190t in 2011.
The decline in gold production was due to numerous gold mine strikes during the same year.
South Africa has 35 large-scale gold mines currently in operation, including the world’s deepest mines such as Tau Tona and Mponeng. The country’s contained gold reserve as of December 2012 was estimated to be about 6,000t (11.5% of the global gold reserves).
Peru is currently the sixth largest gold producing country in the world. The country produced 165t of gold in 2012, a three percent decline over 2011 production. Peru accounted for 6.1% of global gold output in 2012.
Compania de Minas Buenaventura is the main gold-producing company in the country. Yanacocha mine is the largest gold mine in Peru. The country accounted for 4.2% of the global gold reserve as of December 2012.
Ghana ranks as the seventh largest gold producing country in the world. The country produced 4.2Moz (119t) of gold in 2012, which was a 17% increase on 2011 production. The gold production accounts for more than 90% of the country’s total mineral output.
Ghana is the second largest African gold producing country. The country’s largest gold mine, Tarkwa is operated by Gold Fields. The US Geological Survey estimated the country’s gold reserves as of December 2012 at 1,600t, which accounts for 3.1% of the global gold reserve.
Canada is the eighth largest gold producing country, with a gold output of 102t in 2012, five percent more than in 2011. The country’s share in global gold output in 2012 was 3.8%.
The gold mines in the country are mostly located in Ontario. Goldcorp operates the Red Lake gold mine, which is the largest gold producing mine in the country. Canada held 1.8% of global gold reserve as of December 2012.
Indonesia ranks as the ninth largest gold producing country in the world. It produced 95t of gold in 2012, which comprises of 3.5% of the global production during the year. The country’s gold production in 2011 was 96t. The decline in gold production was due to the illegal mining and political unrest in the country.
The world’s biggest gold mine Grasberg, with an estimated gold reserve of 70.96Moz, resides in Indonesia. Freeport McMoran, Newcrest and Newmont are the major mining companies operating in the country. Indonesia contained 5.8% of the global gold reserves as of December 2012.
Uzbekistan is the tenth largest gold producing country, with a production of 90t of gold in 2012. Muruntau open pit mine, one of the largest gold mines in the world, contributes around 70% of the country’s annual gold production.
The state-owned Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat (NMMC) is the dominant gold producing company in the country. There are more than 40 gold deposits in Uzbekistan. Estimated gold reserves of the country stand at 1,700t.
Indonesia is home to the world’s biggest gold mine while South Africa, which houses the majority of the deepest mines in the world, also hosts two of the top 10 largest gold mines.
While technological improvements and stricter safety regulations have reduced coal mining related deaths, accidents are still too common.