This website uses cookies to collect usage information in order to offer a better browsing experience. By browsing this site or by clicking on the "ACCEPT COOKIES" button you accept our Cookie Policy.

Top 10 Gold Producing Countries (From the WGC as of June 2021)

By:

CEO and Chief Investment Officer

Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world, making up between 0.001 and 0.006 parts per million of the earth’s crust. But how much gold is the world digging up each year and what countries produce the most?

According to data released this month by the World Gold Council (WGC), global gold mine production in 2020 was 3,478.1 tonnes (122.7 million ounces), down slightly for the second year in a row after rising consecutively for the past few years. Obviously the pandemic contributed to this slowdown last year, but we may also be seeing the consequences of steadily shrinking exploration budgets.

global mine production decreased for the second year in a row

This raises the question whether peak gold has finally arrived. The low-hanging fruit has already been mined, and giant deposits containing many millions of ounces of gold are not being discovered at the same rate as they once were.

Consider South Africa. The country was at one time the global leader in gold output, digging up over 1,000 tonnes in 1970, but since then its volume has rapidly declined. Last year it slipped out of the list of top 10 gold producers altogether.

Besides South Africa leaving the top 10, the list saw a few other minor changes from 2019. Peru also disappeared, making room for Uzbekistan, while Brazil advanced a few spots. Ghana remains the only African country to appear in the top 10.

Top 10 gold producing countries in 2020

Below are further details on the top 10 countries with the largest gold production in 2020, starting with China, the top producer as well as the top consumer. All data is from the WGC as of June 2021.

1. China – 368.3 tonnes

For many years, China has been the top producing nation, accounting for 11 percent of global mine production. However, production fell from 383 tonnes to 368 last year, representing the fourth consecutive year of declines. The downtrend is largely due to tighter environmental policies imposed by the government. For example, stricter control over the use of cyanide at gold mines has forced several operations to cut back production.

2. Russia – 331.1 tonnes

A huge majority of Europe’s gold comes from Russia, which has been increasing its production every year since 2010. In 2019, Russia surpassed Australia to become the world’s second largest producer. Who is the largest buyer of Russian gold? The Russian government, of course, which purchases around two-thirds of all gold produced locally.

3. Australia – 327.8 tonnes

Australia has now posted eight consecutive years of production increases. The minerals industry produces over half of Australia’s total exports and generates about 8% of GDP. Higher production at several mines and the ramp up of projects such as Mount Morgans and Cadia Valley contributed to increased production.

4. United States – 190.2 tonnes

Gold output in the U.S. fell below 200 tonnes for the first time in several years, continuing a decline that began in 2019. Close to 80% of the gold produced in the U.S. is from Nevada. If the state were its own country, it would be one of the world’s top 10 miners.

5. Canada – 170.6 tonnes

Canada has held the number five spot for four years now, even after mining 12 fewer tonnes in 2020 than it did the previous year. The country’s top gold mine was Canadian Malartic, co-owned by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle, which was responsible for producing over 16 tonnes last year.

6. Ghana – 138.7 tonnes

Ghana is Africa’s largest producer of gold, beating out South Africa for the first time in 2019, and is also known for its reserves of various industrial minerals. Industry majors such as AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields have shifted their focus from South Africa to Ghana where deposits are cheaper and easier to mine.

7. Brazil – 107.0 tonnes

Moving up from the number 10 slot in 2019 is Brazil, which increased its output for the third straight year. Illegal mining activity has risen sharply in the last six years in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed the country to develop the Amazon economically and tap its mineral riches.

8. Uzbekistan – 101.6 tonnes

Uzbekistan significantly increased its output last year, from 94.6 tonnes in 2019 to 101.6 tonnes, the first time it’s exceeded 100 tonnes in one year. The Central Asian country is home to Muruntau, the world’s largest open-pit gold mine by area. The project, which also contains huge deposits of turquoise and arsenic, sits atop what many geologists believe could be the biggest gold reserve in the world.

9. Mexico – 101.6 tonnes

Although production fell for a fifth straight year, Mexico remains a competitive gold source. Output rose from just 50.8 tonnes in 2008 to peak at over 131 tonnes in 2015, one of the largest increases in that time span. Mexico is an attractive place for mining due to a relatively low cost of regulation.

10. Indonesia – 100.9 tonnes

Indonesia is home to the second largest gold mine and world’s highest, Grasberg, which is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia and has as many as 20,000 workers. The South Pacific country is responsible for mining around 3% of global supply.

Originally Posted on June 22, 2021 – UPDATED: Top 10 Gold Producing Countries

The Frank Talk articles listed contain historical material. The data provided was current at the time of publication. For current information regarding any of the funds mentioned in these presentations, please visit the appropriate fund performance page.

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. None of the securities mentioned in the article were held by any accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of 3/31/2021.

Disclosure: US Global Investors

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Holdings may change daily.

Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

About U.S. Global Investors, Inc. – U.S. Global Investors, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This does not mean that we are sponsored, recommended, or approved by the SEC, or that our abilities or qualifications in any respect have been passed upon by the SEC or any officer of the SEC.

This commentary should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment product.

Certain materials in this commentary may contain dated information. The information provided was current at the time of publication.

Some links above may be directed to third-party websites. U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by these websites and is not responsible for their content.

Please consider carefully a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other important information, obtain a fund prospectus by clicking here or by calling 1-800-US-FUNDS (1-800-873-8637). Read it carefully before investing. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, Distributor. U.S. Global Investors is the investment adviser.

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Traders’ Insight that is provided by third-parties and not by Interactive Brokers does NOT constitute a recommendation by Interactive Brokers that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Traders’ Insight are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from US Global Investors and is being posted with permission from US Global Investors. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or US Global Investors and IBKR is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

In accordance with EU regulation: The statements in this document shall not be considered as an objective or independent explanation of the matters. Please note that this document (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination or publication of investment research.

Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray recommendations.

Disclosure: Futures Trading

Futures are not suitable for all investors. The amount you may lose may be greater than your initial investment. Before trading futures, please read the CFTC Risk Disclosure. A copy and additional information are available at ibkr.com.

trading top