In 20 years what country will produce the most gold?
A question like that is impossible to answer, of course, due to mining difficulties, diminishing resources, and changing government policies and regulations that help or hinder a country’s ability to mine, farm or drill efficiently.
It was only 20 years ago that South Africa was the world’s largest producer of gold. Since then, as you can see on our Global Gold Mining Production Map, the country has fallen to the fifth largest because of the country’s long-term problems with labor issues, rising electricity costs, mine safety consideration and lower ore grades.
What about changes in other major commodity-producing nations? We decided to look back 20 years to 1993 to see just how much the world has changed in commodity-production terms. As you might guess, some findings are a little shocking, while others seem predictable.
For instance, would you have guessed that in 1993 the country that produced the most aluminum was the United States? Twenty years ago, the U.S. produced around 3.7 million metric tonnes (mmt) of the metal.
Canada ranked as number one for the top zinc-producing nation in 1993.
And 20 years ago, Australia mined 5.1 mmt of lead, earning the top spot in worldwide production. The nation Down Under still fights for the number one position, but like all the other examples, it does not hold top place today.
Do you know where commodities come from? Could you name the country that produces the most stuff? Find out by taking our Commodity Producer Quiz, which tests your knowledge of commodities, including aluminum, coal, corn, natural gas, gold, oil, platinum, silver, and wheat.
Take the quiz now and if you do well, don’t forget to show off your score to your friends.