Australia has reclaimed second position in global gold production in the initial half of 2009 with 112t of gold.

It is also likely to sustain the position until the end of the year.

Mining consultancy firm Surbiton Associates said China is in the top position in international gold production, having produced 147t of gold in the first half of the year, while the US and South Africa are third and fourth respectively, with 105t and 103t.

Surbiton Associates director Dr Sandra Close said the results showed the changes in recent years in the hierarchy of the world’s top gold producers.

“Australia was the world’s second-largest gold producer behind South Africa in 2005, but it was overtaken by the US in 2006 and China in 2007, putting it back to fourth place,” Close told Mining Weekly.

“But with the continued decline in South African output and lower production in the US in the first half of 2009, Australia has regained the number two spot.

“Currently the value of our mine production of gold, at around $7.5bn, is equal to the combined value of Australia’s exports of wool, wine and dairy products.”

Surbiton said in the September quarter of 2009, Australia produced 56t or 1.8 million ounces of gold, which excluded output from the new Boddington mine that commenced production on 20 November.