Gold is a very beautiful, shiny element, but make no mistake about it – the real reason why it is so precious is because it has many practical uses. It is chemically inert and nonallergenic, making it ideal for dental and medical uses. It is also a highly efficient conductor that can be found in almost all electronic devices that use electricity. But did you know which countries produce the most amount of these wonderful metals?
China is easily the largest producer of gold in the world, with the country estimated to produce more than 403 tonnes of the metal in 2012 alone. There are five provinces in China where most of their gold comes from, namely Shandong, Jiangxi, Henan, Fujian, and Yunnan.
When it comes to gold mining, Australia is second only to China. In 2011-12 alone, the land down under managed to produce more than 253 tonnes of gold and contributed 9.31% of the total gold output in the world for that year. Most of the gold mines in Australia can be found in South Australia, Western Australia, and New South Wales.
United States of America
This may seem surprising to many people, even to Americans. Most people (unfairly) think of America as a country of consumers who rely on goods produced from other countries, but they are actually the third largest gold producing country in the world and are responsible for 230 tonnes of gold produced in 2012, which is 8.5% of the world’s gold production in that year. The U.S. also accounts for 3.5% of the world’s gold reserves.
Historically, South Africa was the largest gold producing country but these days they only rank as the fifth largest, only accounting for 6.3% of global production in 2012 with 170 tonnes of produced gold. The decline is said to be due to numerous gold mine strikes that started in 2012.
Indonesia is only the 9th largest gold producing country in the world, only managing 95 tonnes of the metal in 2012, but it deserves inclusion in this list because it has the world’s biggest gold mine in the world, Grasberg, which has an estimated gold reserve of 70.96Moz. Experts say that Indonesia would rank higher, but their ability to mine gold has drastically decreased due to illegal mining and the unstable political climate in the region.