PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) were engaged by the World Gold Council to assess the direct economic and fiscal contribution made by gold in the major gold producing and consuming countries.

This is a landmark study that uses, for the first time, the measure of Gross Value Added (GVA) to compute the impact of gold’s contribution to GDP, employment and taxes paid.

“It addresses, for the first time, the direct economic impact of gold on the global economy, and does so in a way which is objective in stance and rigorous in its treatment of complex data. The report is unique in looking at an entire value chain, including gold mining, refining, and fabrication and consumption. It helps us understand the fundamental role that gold plays in advancing economic development and ultimately the needs of society.” – Randall Oliphant, Executive Chairman, New Gold Inc. and Chairman, World Gold Council (Foreword).

Gold 

Key finding

Overall, the GVA associated with the supply of and demand for gold is estimated to be in excess of US$210 billion across those countries in scope of this analysis: this means it is similar to the GDP of the Republic of Ireland or the Czech Republic or Beijing.

GVA from Gold Supply

In 2012, the world gold supply was estimated at 4,477 tonnes split 1:2 between recycled and mined gold.

About 15 large gold-producing countries accounted for 75 percent of the global production. These countries generated USD 78.4B in GVA in 2012.

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Gold mining activity in these top 15 countries employed ~528K people in 2012.

Apart from the contribution by the mining companies, global gold recycling also contributes an estimated GVA of between USD 23.4B – USD 27.6B; however, on a per tonne basis, the GVA from recycled gold is estimated at USD 16M/tonne compared to USD 36M/tonne from mined gold.

In some smaller, emerging countries, gold exports formed a major source of export revenues; for example, Tanzania (36 percent), Ghana and Papua New Guinea (26 percent each).

Gold mining companies also pay mining royalties to the exchequers, but due to the paucity of data, it is estimated that this would only be a small proportion of the aggregate fiscal contribution made by gold miners.

GVA from Gold Consumption

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The activities of the 13 largest gold consuming countries, including jewellery fabrication, bars and coins, are estimated to have generated EVA of USD 110B.

It is clear from the above graph that the yellow metal industry creates substantial economic value across the globe and helps advance economic development.