Demand For Gold
Gold has been one of the most sought after products across cultures for over a thousand years. It has been the cause of wars and the foundation of colonies and nations. Gold has long been a symbol of wealth and power, used as currency, in jewelry, for architectural embellishments, and as a component in modern technology. Today, gold mining is a large industry worldwide and a major economic contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of some nations.
Global Gold Production Trends
Global gold production fluctuates from country to country on a yearly basis. The production of gold decreased in 2008 by 2.1% of 2007 levels. The costs of running a gold mine increased by 4.1% in the last quarter of 2010, which led to a decrease in production at mines in some countries. The following year, 11 of 14 major gold producing countries reported an increase in output. By 2012, that number was down to 6 of 14 and in 2013, it rose to 9 countries. Most recently, 2015 output numbers indicate a global increase in gold production of just under 1%. This is because the increased production of North America and Indonesia was canceled out by the decreased production in China and throughout Africa. The final numbers for 2016 are expected to show a global decrease.
Ranking Gold Mining Companies
The gold output of a specific country was not necessarily produced by a domestic company. In fact, it was most likely produced by a large, international organization. These gold companies have invested in gold exploration, exploitation, and production in several other countries around the world. A measurement of their size, therefore, is based on a combined report of their mining work on a global level. Ranking gold mining companies can be determined by several methods. One measurement is based on annual production levels, that is, the weight of gold produced every year. Another method is by measuring their production costs. The higher the production cost, the lower the company’s profit margin. Other measurements include market capitalization and enterprise value.
Below is a look at the world’s largest gold companies based on annual production weight.
World’s Largest Gold Companies
Canada owns 4 of the top 10 largest gold companies in the world. Two of these companies are South African. The remaining four belong to Russia, Malaysia, the US, and Australia.
The number one gold company in the world, in annual production, is Barrick Gold. This Canadian company has taken the number 1 spot for several years in a row despite seeing a drop in production from 2013 to 2014. During this time, Barrick Gold was implementing a structural readjustment project that resulted in production changes. In 2015, the company announced that it would be measuring its success in terms of financial results rather than production amounts. In 2016, the company produced a total of 203.1 tons of gold. It has mining operations in 10 countries: the Dominican Republic, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, and the US.
The second largest gold company in the world is Newmont Mining, a US-owned organization. Although in the number 2 spot, its 2016 production levels have significantly decreased compared to 2014 and 2015. Its most recent gold output is 142.67 tons. The Newmont Mining company has gold mining operations in Peru, New Zealand, Indonesia, Ghana, Australia, and the US state of Nevada. Worldwide, it employs approximately 34,000 employees and contractors.
The third largest gold producing company is AngloGold Ashanti, a South African enterprise. In 2016, this company produced 116.37 tons of gold. This number represents a three-year consecutive drop in production. AngloGold Ashanti operates in 9 countries. This year, it has reported that an illegal mining operation has taken control of its Obuasi mine in Ghana.
Other large gold companies can be seen in the chart published below.
The World's Largest Gold Companies
|Rank||Name||Base||2016 FY production tonnes|
|3||AngloGold Ashanti||South Africa||116.37|
|4||AS group of companies||Malaysia||75.60|
|7||Gold Fields||South Africa||57.27|