Global Shift in Gold Production Reflects Declining Mine Output

Among the many attractions of gold is the fact that it is an extremely rare element, comprising only about 0.003 parts per million of the earth’s crust. Moreover, there is a finite amount of gold that, in some cases, has become increasingly difficult and expensive to access. 

Shop our Gold Selection

We carry Gold Eagles, Silver Bars & more!

An analysis of the global shift in gold production is telling. In 1995, South Africa, the United States, Australia, and Canada, were the four top producers of the precious metal, accounting for 56 percent of global output. Today, those four countries account for less than half as much, just 24 percent of production, according to the London Bullion Market Association. 

South Africa has suffered the steepest decline. Once Africa’s leading producer, it now trails Ghana. Last year, South African mines generated 107 metric tons of gold, down from 554 tons in 1995. Some of South Africa’s mines are depleted and have closed. At others, extracting ore from increasingly deep and narrow deposits demands greater labor and energy, meaning the mines are becoming less cost-efficient. Fact is, producing gold is costly, hard work.  

The top gold producer in the world is now China, though its production has fallen for three consecutive years, in part because of stricter environmental policies that have forced mines to limit output. 

In 2019, Russia surpassed Australia to become the second-largest producer. Australia also has aging mines that are running out of gold. S&P Global Market Intelligence has forecast Australia, currently, the world’s third-largest producer will fall to fourth place by 2024. That would indicate a very substantial drop in production since the United States, in fourth place, trails Australian production by more than 100 metric tons. 

Ready to Begin Collecting?

We carry Gold American Eagles, Indian Heads & more!