Many people have preconceived notions regarding where gold is mined but the world of today is a very different place compared to the 1970s. Today, more gold is being mined and coming out from unknown and unconventional places, rather than the hotbeds of past decades.
For example, statistics from 1970 indicate that South Africa was producing nearly 70% of the world’s gold. Today, that number dropped to just 7% of the world’s gold productions. This comes with the unfortunate circumstance of mining a non-renewable and finite resource when it becomes depleted. Another striking figure in comparison is the rise from ‘other sources’ from about 9% in the 1970s to 32.5% in 2011.
With these startling figures, you might ask: where are these ‘other’ places? Some notable and traditionally top players had been China, Australia, the former USSR, Canada and the United States. Today, there are new nations at the top of the list in addition to new places for gold mines.
- Grasberg Gold Mine.
Located in Papua, Indonesia, this major mine also produces silver and copper. A province of an island nation, Papua does not have any major industry besides mining. This mine is owned, at least in majority, by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Incorporated. Aside from its gold mine, Indonesia is best known for its tourism in places like Bali.
- Muruntau Gold Mine.
Muruntau Gold Mine is located in Uzbekistan. This open-pit operation is located rather close to the capital of the country with a distance of 250 miles. Generally, the Middle East is easily thought of as the hot-bed for oil but other resources are just as in demand. This large enterprise is controlled by Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat.
- Yanacocha Gold Mine.
Peru is also a country endowed with one of the largest gold mines in the world and is known worldwide for its world heritage value and its ‘cocoa’ leaves. Yanacocha Gold Mine holds the distinction of being the largest Latin American mine. The mine it is owned by Newmont Mining and Buenaventurda.
- Veladero Gold Mine.
Hear the word ‘argentina’ and one will think of steak, wine and tango dancing. The country is also known more for its precious metals. The Veladero Gold Mine (as is the proceeding location on this list) is located in this country and owned by the company Barrick Gold.
- Lagunas Norte Gold Mine.
Another gold mine in Peru is the Lagunas Norte Gold Mine. The location of tehmine is on the north central of Peru. Barrick Gold owns the mines and produced 808,000 ounces of gold last year.
- Lihir Gold Mine.
Another goldmine is associated with name Papua, this time a country named Papua New Guinea. The mine in question is called Lihir Gold Mine and it is owned by the Newcrest Mining Ltd had the honours of owning this gold mine.
It is clear that there are new players in the gold industry. Although some of the old players still have gold in their land, new players in the industry will keep the industry growing.
The presence of gold or any precious resources like oil create mixed feelings and results. In particular, locals feel the burnt of the gold mining in their place. The industry might be the only thing that gives them employment but also natural accidents.
Watching the international gold market is complex. Although there is a brief mentioned of the largest gold mines and their host countries, it is still important to remember that some nations, like the United States, Australia and other countries, are still top producers. The production rate might have decreased over the years but there are still on the watch list.
Guest Post Writer: Sharon Freeman
Sharon Freeman is an Australian freelance writer who writes professionally about investment trends and information for companies.