Gold has been around for more than 6000 BC, and it is mined on every continent except Antarctica.
It is unknown when we started to mine the gold exactly, but it has been considered an object of prestige and wealth for millennia.
In today’s world, we use gold for different financial applications and for building some of the most delicate parts of our modern technologies.
It is estimated that the world’s gold ore reserves were at 53,000 tones, in 2020.
In 2019, we witnessed that the world's global production of gold reduced by 1%, for the first time in a decade. Global gold production was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The suspension of expansion works and compression from mines nearing closure also added to the decline. Overall, output was estimated to have declined by 5.2%. However, it did recover in 2021 by 5.5%.
The reason why we witnessed lower recoveries of gold from ore was stricter rules regarding environmental implications in the mining industries and the pandemic. Another reason is that nowadays it is harder to extract gold from ore because there is less gold in the ore, and we require more sophisticated techniques to recover it.
Let’s check which countries produce the most gold in the world:
Top 10 largest producers of gold in the world on a country level in tones 2021
1. China (332.0)
2. Russia (330.9)
4. Canada (192.9)
5. United States(186.8)
6. Ghana (129.2)
7. Peru (127.3)
8. Mexico (124.5)
10. South Africa(113.6)
Available data as of 31st of December, 2021
The largest gold producer at the country level is China.
China is producing around 9% of total global gold, followed by Russia and Australia.
However, no Chinese company appears among the top miners in 2020. This changes in the 2022 report.
Although China and Russia are now leading gold-producing countries in the world, it is estimated that Australia might take over the first place and overtake China in the coming years.
Australia in the fiscal year 2021, mined around 321 metric tons of gold. By 2023, the production volume is forecasted to reach 379 metric tons and it is aiming to overtake China as the world’s largest producer.
In 2020 the world’s top gold mining producers produced 27.48 million ounces (moz), worth around $48 billion.
The top 10 companies account for around 22% of the total global production, which is estimated to grow in the future due to mergers and acquisitions.
Now, let’s dive deep into how the top gold mining companies have performed in 2020 compared to the year Q2, 2022
Top gold mining producers in 2020 (Moz)
1. Newmont - USA - (5.88)
2. Barrick - Canada - (4.84)
3. Polyus - Russia - (2.87)
4. AngloGold Ashanti - South Africa - (2.81)
5. Kinross Gold - Canada - (2.38)
6. Gold Fields - South Africa - (2.13)
7. Newcrest - Australia - (2.06)
8. Agnico Eagle - Canada - (1.73)
9. Polymetal International - Russia - (1.4)
10. Harmony Gold - South Africa - (1.38)
The top 10 companies account for around 22% of total global production, which is estimated to grow in the future due to mergers and acquisitions.
As the only US company on the list, Newmont produces 21% of the gold produced by the top companies.
Canada has three companies on the list; Barrick Gold, Kinross Gold, and Agnico Eagle producing 32% combined.
Russia has 2 companies on the list: Polyus and Polymetal, which produce around 15% of the gold production, in 2022 they have decided to announce their data biannually.
The top gold mining producers in Q2 2022 (Koz)
1. Newmont - USA - (1,495)
2. Barrick - Canada - (1,043)
3. Agnico Eagle - Canada - (858)
4. AngloGold Ashanti - South Africa - (645)
5. Newcrest - Australia - (637)
6. Gold Fields - South Africa - (621)
7. Kinross - Canada - (557)
8. Zijin Mining - China - (462)
9. Northern Star - Australia - (411)
10. Harmony Gold - South Africa - (382)
In the Q2 2022:
The American Newmont increased its production by 3% compared to last year.
Canadian Barrick was in line with Q2 from 2021.
Agnico Eagle had a 63% YoY increase in production.
AngloGold Ashanti increased their YoY production by 3%.
Newcrest increased their production by 18%.
Gold Fields has 10% higher production than the prior period.
Kinross had a YoY increase of 4%.
Chinese Zijin Mine increased its YoY production by 37%.
These are interesting times for the gold mining companies. The political instability and economic changes have affected the gold mining industries as much as others.
An unstable stock market and an increase in the price of mining materials and production are also affecting the mining industry.
In the coming years, we will see how these changes are going to influence the overall gold mining industry.
However, what gold mining companies can do is to make sure to decrease their costs of production and optimize their gold operations and increase gold extraction.