Newmont could overtake Barrick as top gold miner this year

Barrick could lose top spot to Newmont

Newmont's Yanacocha mine in Peru is South America's largest

The world's number one and two gold producers both released full year 2015 results and future outlook on Wednesday.

For Barrick Gold last year was the last period of 6m-plus ounces of production. And 2015 is already substantially down from its peak of 7.7 million ounces in 2010 and 2011.

While Barrick has been getting rid of mines, world number two gold producer Newmont Mining is on an expansion drive topping 5 million ounces for the first time in 2015.

In its results Barrick said based on its "current asset mix and subject to potential divestments" it expects to maintain annual production of "at least 4.5 million ounces of gold through 2020."

Newmont said its output will "remain stable at between 4.5 and 5.0 million ounces through 2020," but the Denver-based miner said unapproved projects "represent upside of between 250,000 and 400,000 ounces of gold production beginning in 2018."

Newmont could overtake Barrick as top gold miner this year