Canada’s gold mines are shooting the lights out

Canada’s gold mines are shooting the lights out

Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec at dusk. Image: Agnico Eagle

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) provisional data, estimated global gold production amounted to 2,860 tonnes in 2014, and was 2.1% higher than 2013 totals (2,800 tonnes).

The top 10 gold producing countries mined out 1,920 tonnes of the precious metal which is 2.3% more than in 2013 (1,876 tonnes).

Among them, five countries — China, Australia, Russia, Canada, Uzbekistan — increased their gold output and four — USA, South Africa, Peru and Mexico — fell in production. Gold output in Ghana was in line with 2013 totals (90 tonnes).

Canada’s gold mines are shooting the lights out

Source: USGS

China has been at the top of the rankings for the past eight years with 450 tonnes of gold produced in 2014 (+4.7%) followed by Australia (270 tonnes, +1.9%) and Russia (245 tonnes, +6.5%).

Russia climbed to third place while the US fell from third to fourth position with gold output nosedived by 8.3% in 2014 (211 tonnes).

Canada achieved the record gold output in 2014 (160 tonnes, +29%) and jumped two positions up, from seventh to fifth place, surpassing South Africa for the first time.

South Africa ranked number one in the world for a century before losing the top spot to China in 2007. At its peak in the late 1960s the gold fields of South Africa produced more than a 1,000 tonnes of the yellow metal per year.

Table 1. World gold production, by top producing countries, tonnes (USGS preliminary data).

Medium and small gold-producing countries increased their gold output in 2014 by 1.7%, from 924 tonnes of gold in 2013 to 940 tonnes in 2014.