ANIMATION: Top 20 gold producing countries
World output of gold in 2018 was 3,502.6 metric tonnes or 112.6 million troy ounces, up a whopping 709 tonnes or nearly 30m ounces since the start of the decade, according to London-based mining and metals consultants Metals Focus and the World Gold Council.
China cemented its spot at the top of the list with a 39 tonnes increase in gold produced during the year.
South Africa ranked number one in the world for a century before losing the top spot to China in 2007, which has held it ever since. China is in danger of losing its no 1 ranking over the next few years as Canada and Russia ramp up production with the European nation adding 900,000 ounces this year alone.
Russia is studying the development of the Sukhoi Log deposit in the country’s east. A number of new mines in the later stages of development could add 2.7m ounces to Canada’s output over the next five years.
At its peak in the late 1960s, the gold fields of South Africa produced more than a 1,000 tonnes, double the output of the rest of the world combined. Last year the country’s output fell to 130 tonnes, giving up its crown as top producer on the continent to Ghana.
Gold bullion. Photo by Vitaly Smolygin, Public Domain.