China unlikely to be ousted as world's main gold producer

China is expected to remain as the world’s top gold producer for the sixth consecutive year in 2012, the country’s gold association forecast Thursday.

According to, the industry association’s latest data shows the nation’s gold production between January and October was of 323 tonnes, which represents a 11% increase from the same period last year.

Since 2007, when China overtook South Africa as the world’s biggest gold producer, the country has remained among the world’s top bullion producers and, as of last year, as the number one, according to China Gold Association's report.

The country is also the world's second-largest gold consumer after India.

A handy graph provided by Washington's Blog draws into relief China's heft with respect to global gold production:

Washington's also cites another source noting that in sharp contrast to the powerhouse manufacturing industries, which have brought about its rapid economic ascent.

Despite being the world's main gold producer, China is not exporting any of the bullion it produces. What’s more, the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Gold Price Report released last week revealed that the country is focused on acquiring more and more of it.

In 2011 Chinese buyers acquired four of the top gold deals. And this year, they were again responsible for four out of the top 10 gold deals announced.

"Chinese state owned entities remain interested in expanding their gold mining assets outside of China to secure steady access to gold in the future," says John Gravelle, Mining Leader for Canada and the Americas, PwC.

In the last few years, China has also heavily invested in the African mining industry. "There are a number of examples of controlling investments by Chinese and Indian companies into gold, coal, and other commodity projects in Africa. Chinese investors come with significant financial support, facilitating the development of capital intensive mines," concludes Gravelle.