With its shining yellow color, gold is one of the most sought-after metals around the world. With about 90 countries mining the precious metal, the top 10 countries contribute to almost 75% of the world’s annual gold output. Find out who have made it to the top 10, in this Buzzle article.
The largest consumer of gold is India; it purchases approximately 800 tons of gold every year.
Since ancient times, gold has been taken as a symbol of power, valor, wealth, happiness, and intelligence. Being a highly reactive metal, it is used extensively to form compounds. Thanks to its high malleability, ductility, and resistance to corrosion, it is used in electric wiring and the production of colored glass. Besides, it is used extensively as a medium of exchange, investment, and in electronic chemistry. No one needs to be reminded of the ever-growing fondness for gold jewelry.
Gold deposits are found in different parts of the globe, from South Africa and Australia to Russia and Peru. While the United States is a major producer, China surpasses them all, thus, emerging as the top producer of gold. The production from the top ten countries is approximately 3,000 tons of gold, contributing to almost 75% of the total production around the world.
Mine production: 403 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 1.7%
China emerges as one of the top consumers and producers of the yellow metal. With approximately 400 metric tons of production, it can easily be termed as the goose that lays the golden egg. The total output has grown by approximately 11.7% in the past year, and the country ranks fifth in terms of gold reserves.
Mine production: 250 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 8.5%
Gold is one of the major exports of this country, contributing approximately $14 billion to the economy on a yearly basis. Most of Australia’s gold comes from Western Australia, namely from the Super Pit―the country’s largest open-cut gold mine.
Mine production: 230 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 76.3%
Unlike China, where the gold production has seen a healthy rise, the production of gold in the United States declined by 4 tons. The US has the largest gold holdings in the world, with approximately 8,133.5 tons equivalent to almost 76.3% of its total foreign reserves. Most of the mined gold comes from Nevada in the western region.
Mine production: 230 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 9.9%
Despite being one of the top producers of gold, Russia still imports gold from other countries. The country has already bought 57.6 tons of gold to increase its reserves to about 936.7 tons. The gold production has increased by 6.8% over the year in Russia. Primary Russian gold company Polyus Gold International augmented its gold production by 12% in 2012.
Mine production: 170 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 12.7%
South Africa has fallen from being the highest producer to being the fifth-highest producer in the world in a matter of six years. The strikes in the nation’s gold mines have resulted in the sudden drop in the total production output. There are 35 large-scale mines operating in South Africa alone, contributing to approximately 7% of the world production of gold.
Mine production: 165 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 3.1%
With gold reserves of around 2,000 tons, it is one of the largest producers of gold in South America. This Latin American country thrives on mining for employment; however, in the past year, the production has seen a 3% decline.
Mine production: 102 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 0.3%
Canada, despite being home to the world’s top mining companies, has seen a decline in total production in the past few years. The country’s Barrick Gold Corporation had the highest production level in the past year at 7.42 million ounces.
Mine production: 95 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 3.7%
House to Grasberg Mine, one of the largest gold reserves in the world, Indonesia contributes to approximately 3.9% of the world’s gold production. This country’s gold reserves are estimated at 3,000 tons, and official gold holdings are 73.1 tons.
Mine production: 90 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: N/A
With over 40 gold deposits in the country, the current reserves estimated in the country are approximately 1,700 tons. Most of the gold is produced from the Muruntau mine, which is the country’s largest single open-pit gold mine.
Mine production: 89 tons | Percent of total foreign currency reserves: 8.4%
Well-known in the past as the Gold Coast, Ghana accounts for almost 3.23% of the world’s production of gold. Interestingly enough, its production grew by 17% from 2011 to 2012. Ghana is the second-largest producer of gold in the African continent.
The ranking given here is subject to change, depending on the total output of a given country in a particular year. Over 165 thousand tons of gold have been mined so far, yet no single country has produced more than about 14% of the world’s total gold.