The leaves may be falling from the trees at this time of year, and the third quarter reports are likewise fluttering around. For example, St Andrew Goldfields of Toronto set a record by producing 25,742 oz of gold in Q3 2012. For the first nine months of the year, SAS produced 69,775 oz from its Holt, Holloway and Hislop mines. The company is on track to produce over 90,000 oz in 2012.
Okay, so SAS is not a big gold producer, but it is Canadian and all of its gold is mined in Canada.
Reflecting on St Andrew led to thinking about how much our mining industry loves its gold, and now as the price is showing some strength in the US$1,765 to US$1,775 range, let’s take a quick look at Canada’s place among global gold producers.
In 2011 global gold mine production was approximately 86.8 million oz. About 3.5 million of those ounces came from projects in Canada. That represents 4.1% of the total. That percentage is roughly what it has been in the past – 5.1% in 1970, 6.8% in 1995 and 3.5% in 2010. (Kudos, once more, to the world’s largest gold miner, Toronto-based Barrick Gold, producer of 7.4 million oz or 9.0% of the global total.)
Our country is far from being the largest gold producer. The single country at the head of the list is China. It produced 13.1% of the world’s gold last year. That is impressive for a country that first broke out of the “other” category in 1995.
Australia is another rising gold miner. It broke out of the “others” in 1990 with 10.6% of world production, and last year its total of global production was 10.0%. Well, it did have a 1.0% share of world production in the 1970s, but later fell into the “other” group.
Remember the gold industry in 1970 when the price was about US$35/oz and two-thirds of production came from South Africa? Those days are long gone. South Africa now accounts for only 7.0% of the global gold output.
For readers who want to draw their own conclusions about other gold producing countries, allow us to recommend Gold Sheet (GoldSheetLinks.com/production.htm), the US Geological Survey (minerals.USGS.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/gold/mcs-2012-gold.pdf) and Gold Seek (news.GoldSeek.com/Dani/1309290922.php).
Fill a glass with fresh cider while you enjoy a look at global gold industry.