Top 7 Gold Producing Countries

You will have a hard time finding someone who does not know what gold is. The precious metal that helped shape civilizations is used in several industries for its aesthetic properties and ductility.

Do you have a smartphone? You probably already know your device uses around 0.034 grams of gold because it is a great conductor of electricity. While dismantling your phone will not yield more than a dollar in gold, this little fun fact threw me into a night of research.

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I wanted to see what are the top producing countries in the world. Of course, the results were at times unsurprising, but more often than not, I stumbled upon some neat pieces of information.

Which I will unselfishly share with you right now.

Top 7 Gold Producing Countries In Metric Tons

The best available estimates suggest that around 197,576 tons of gold have been mined throughout history. Of these, almost two-thirds have been mined since 1950, with the help of modern mining solutions.

The World Gold Council estimates that the remaining gold reserves amount to only 30% of what’s been already mined. The remaining gold that’s buried at accessible depths and in sufficient concentrations would amount to around 54,000 tons.

However, the Council did not consider gold that would be unreasonably costly to mine with the currently available technology.

At a price of US $1,250 per troy ounce, as it reached by August 2017, one metric ton of gold would value around $64.3 million. This brings us to a sizeable value of all the gold ever mined of $7.5 trillion. That’s more than the GDP of the UK and Germany combined!

The major exploiters of gold worldwide have remained pretty much the same throughout the last decades. Here are the top 7 gold producing countries by metric ton.

1. China

China produced around 380 tons of gold during 2020, roughly the same amount that the Asian powerhouse produced last year.

Despite being a leader in global gold production, you will have a hard time finding any relevant published information regarding the history and the economic climate in which gold is being mined in China.

The giant reportedly holds around 4,000 tons of gold in its reserves, and it also has the record for the biggest consumer of gold worldwide. A good reason for this would be China’s more than reasonable prices on gold.

Based on prices at the end of 2020, one of the cheapest places to buy gold in the world would be Hong Kong. The city consistently appears on lists with the lowest gold prices and the lowest premium fees for acquiring gold.

Most mines in China are owned and operated by the China National Gold Group Corporation, with the biggest gold mine in the Guizhou province – The Jinfeng Gold Mine.

2. Australia

Torrid Australia is estimated to have one of the largest gold reserves, standing at a whopping 9,500 tones. That’s almost 17% of the total world estimated gold reserves. Scientific journals estimate that the majority of these reserves are in Western Australia.

Currently, Australia reportedly has around 80 tons of gold in its reserves. Newmont Goldcorp is one of the leading companies that exploit the precious metal in Australia, and they are also the owners of the biggest gold mine on the continent.

The Boddington Gold Mine is located 8 miles northwest of Boddington, in Western Australia, and it was reopened on 3 February 2010. In 2016, it stole the title from the well-known tourist attraction, the Super Pit.

Across 66 gold mines, Australia consistently produces around 350 tons of gold per year.

3. Russia

Ever since gold was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1745, Russia took matters into its own hands to use the rich natural reserves of the country to save its economy from turmoil.

Russia’s economic history is certainly interesting, but it should not come as a surprise to you that the country’s leading economy is mostly owed to its vast natural resources. Russia is the second or third-largest oil producer, and it battles Iran for first place in natural gas reserves.

It is also the world’s largest diamond producer. The gold production in this country has dramatically risen since 2008. Every year, across its many mines spread throughout the vast territory, Russia produces around 300 tons of gold.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the country currently has 5,300 tons of gold in its reserves. The biggest Russian gold mining company is Polyus, which produces about a third of the country’s annual yield.

4. United States

During the last year, the USA produced 190 tons of gold. It currently holds the record for the biggest amount of gold it owns, at around 8,133 tons. 77.5% of these are held in foreign reserves, mostly in Peru and Indonesia.

Goldstrike is considered to have the largest gold deposit in the world and is the largest gold mine in North America. It has so far produced about 1,100 tons. Newmont, a Colorado-based company, is considered the world’s biggest world miner, producing just over 5.8 million ounces of precious metal in 2020.

Fun fact! Panning for gold in the USA is completely legal. If you find gold on US soil, you can keep it without telling a soul. You will be, however, required to pay taxes on it if you decide to sell it.

One of the biggest gold and other precious metals distributors in the US is the Money Reserve, and the country holds most of its physical gold assets in Kentucky.

5. Canada

The Canadian Malarctic mine is the largest open-pit mine in Canada. It is located near Quebec, and it is operated by two of the biggest gold mining companies in the country – Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd and Yamana Gold.

Barrick Gold Corporation and Kinross Gold, along with those two, accounted for more than 20% of the nation’s overall mining yields. It is forecasted that the nation will produce around 7.6 million troy ounces from 2019 to 2023.

Moreover, Euro Sun Mining Inc, a Canadian developer, owns an exploiting project in the second-largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe – the Rovina Valley in West Romania. This area contains 5+ million ounces of gold and 1.3 billion ounces of copper.

The project received its mining license in November 2018 and is ready to boost Canada’s reserves by quite the number.

6. Indonesia

The Grasberg mine in Indonesia has the largest reserve of gold and the second-largest reserve of copper in the world. It is located in Papua, near the highest mountain in the country, and it is a frequent source of friction in the region.

The most significant source of friction with the Papuans is the environmental impact of the mine and the low revenue that goes back into the community, with the mine being exclusively owned by Freeport-McMoRan, a USA company.

The latest reports show Indonesia’s gold holdings at about 80 tons, with around 100 tons being mined here every year. So if you’d like to buy gold from Indonesia, you’ll be happy to know that there are no restrictions or place controls in place regarding the precious metal.

The new generations of Indonesia are turning towards the online space to sell gold with low premiums, so if you want to buy gold from here, you will only have to pay for the extra shipping.

7. Peru

Peru’s national reserves stand at around 34 tons. Even though the country is rich in natural resources, the exploitation is done mainly by foreign companies that mine about 100 tons of gold per year.

The largest gold mine of Peru (and South America) is the Yanacocha gold mine, located northeast of Lima. It operates in four primary basins and is one of the highest gold mines, located at around 4000 meters above sea level.

You’ve probably heard that Peruvian gold is illegal. Unfortunately, illegal mining is a common practice in Latin America, especially Peru, where rural inhabitants mine this precious resource without regard for the hazardous effects on the environment and human health.

The Peruvian government has tried to prevent illegal mining through military interventions for over a decade. Still, pictures from out of space show the extent of illicit gold mining in the country.


While some may think that we’ve exhausted the Earth’s natural reserves, I beg to differ. At the rate at which technology evolves, deeper resources of gold will soon be available to us at a fraction of the cost.

Many other countries have rich gold deposits, but I don’t expect the most prominent gold miners to change very soon. China, Canada, Russia, Australia and the USA will always have a spot on this list.

This rings especially true since the biggest gold mining companies are based in one of these countries, and they will continue to mine the precious resource from wherever they are permitted to.

Have a question about gold mining or any of the shown statistics? Drop me a comment below. I’d love to chat.

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