2013 Top 10 Gold-producing Countries

2013 Top 10 Gold-producing Countries

2013 was a terrible year for gold prices, but that doesn’t mean production of the yellow metal came to a halt. In fact, the world’s top gold producers still put out large amounts of it. 

To find out just how much they produced, Gold Investing News took a look at the US Geological Survey’s 2013 gold production data. Below is a list of last year’s top 10 gold-producing countries, along with a little background information on each nation.

1. China

Mine production: 420 MT

With 2013 gold production of 420 metric tons (MT), China has been the leading gold producer in the world for seven years in a row now. Further, last year it was officially the world’s largest gold market in terms of consumption, mining and importing, as per the International Business Times.

“The impact on the Chinese gold industry of the extraordinary growth in 2013 demand has been marked, with significant growth in both manufacturing and retail network capacity,” the news outlet quotes the most recent World Gold Council quarterly demand report as saying.

2. Australia

Mine production: 255 MT

The USGS pegs Australia’s 2013 gold production at 255 MT. Production is concentrated in Western Australia, according to the Australian government, but both open-pit and underground operations are spread throughout the country.

While there are about 75 mining and processing sites in the country that concentrate on gold, there is only one refiner: the Perth Mint. It uses domestically produced gold, as well as gold from overseas sources and recycled material, to create refined gold. Much of that is then exported.

3. United States

Mine production: 227 MT

The US produced 227 MT of gold last year, down slightly from 2012, when it put out 235 MT.

In terms of where that gold comes from, data by state shows that most US gold production takes place in Nevada and Alaska. Utah and Colorado are close followers, and South Dakota and California are also significant sources of the yellow metal.

4. Russia

Mine production: 220 MT

Russia is one of the most resource-rich countries in the world, and last year put out 220 MT of gold. Its major gold-producing regions include Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Magadan, Amur and Chelyabinsk. All of those areas are in the eastern region of the country and are quite remote.

5. Peru

Mine production: 150 MT

Though Peru produced 150 MT of gold in 2013, government officials, analysts and mining companies all agree that the country’s production of the metal is likely to stay static or even drop in the year ahead.

Specifically, companies and analysts estimate that Peru’s gold output will fall at least 4 percent in 2014, but the government hopes it can match 2013′s performance, according to Reuters.

6. South Africa

Mine production: 145 MT

South Africa managed to produce 145 MT of gold in 2013, but the International Business Times notes that the country’s gold industry is currently in crisis.

That might sound strange given that South Africa has some of the world’s richest gold reserves; however, the dropping price of gold, ageing and closing mines and higher operating costs have all made gold mining in the African nation more difficult. Indeed, South Africa’s gold production has dropped 83 percent in the last decade alone, according to its Chamber of Mines.

7. Canada

Mine production: 120 MT

As noted, 2013 was a difficult year for gold producers and investors. In consequence, many gold-producing companies in Canada fared poorly last year, as per The Motley Fool.

Even so, Canada managed to produce 120 MT of gold, increasing its overall production of the metal from 104 MT in 2012. Signs that gold prices are now stabilizing suggest that 2014 may bring another increase.

8. Mexico

Mine production: 100 MT

Mexico produced 100 MT of gold in 2013, an improvement over 2012′s total production of 97 MT.

That increase came despite a new mining tax, which according to The Economist was passed by the country’s upper house of Congress at the end of October 2013. Explaining the tax, Mexico’s finance ministry said it had previously been too generous in charging no royalties at all.

9. Uzbekistan

Mine production: 93 MT

Uzbekistan produced 93 MT of gold in 2013, the same amount it produced in 2012.

The country is slowly modernizing its gold mining and refining capacities, Trend states in its Central Asia coverage. That may eventually lead to increased production in the nation, which has reserves that have not yet been exploited due to technological impediments.

10. Ghana

Mine production: 85 MT

Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, put out 85 MT of gold in 2013. Like South Africa, the country saw a decline in production compared to last year, when it produced 87 MT of gold.


Related reading: 

2012 Top Gold-producing Countries

2011 Top 10 Gold-producing Countries