Russia may overtake Australia as second largest gold miner this year

Not content with its Central Bank being this year’s world’s largest gold purchaser, Russia looks like it might be moving into second place in the World gold mine production table and overtaking Australia which currently holds this position. Last year Russia mined just under 8 million ounces of gold – around 248.5 tonnes – as opposed to Australia’s 8.53 million ounces – 265.3 tonnes. But Russian gold output is reported as rising 26.6 per cent in the first half of the year and if this level increase continues in H2 Russian full year output could total 10.1 million ounces – or 314.6 tonnes, although with normally far higher output in the second half of the year this kind of annual percentage increase may not be achievable.

World Top 10 Gold Producers 2012/2013

2013 Rank  Country  2012 Output (tonnes) 2013 Output (tonnes)
1 China 413 438
2 Australia 252 265
3 Russia 229 249
4 USA 235 231
5 South Africa 180 182
6 Peru 185 179
7 Canada 105 125
8 Mexico 104 104
9 Ghana 99 102
10 Indonesia 88 N/A
  Global 2875 3009


Thus industry sources in Russia estimate full year production at a rather more conservative 8.84 million ounces – 275 tonnes – a rise of only just over 10 per cent but one suspects they may be erring on the side of caution, particularly as previous 2014 Russian production estimates had suggested mined gold output could fall back 5 per cent this year.

World Top 10 Gold Producers 2012/2013

World Top 10 Official gold reserve holdings (based on World Gold Council data March 2014)
Rank Country/Organization Gold holdings
(in tonnes)
Gold's share offorex reserves
1 United States 8,133.5 72%
2 Germany 3,384.2 68%
3 International Monetary Fund 2,814.0 N.A.
4 Italy 2,451.8 67%
5 France 2,435.4 66%
6 Russia 1,094.0 9%
7 China 1,054.1 1%
8 Switzerland 1,040.1 8%
9 Japan 765.2 2%
10 Netherlands 612.5 54%

Source: Wikipedia

The Moscow times quotes head of the Russian gold producers’ lobby, Sergei Kashuba, as saying "They are increasing production to compensate for a gold price decline,"

Total gold production was reported by the newspaper as rising by 26.6 percent year-on-year to 116.7 tonnes in January-June, including output from mines, from gold as a by-product of other metals, refined from scrap, and gold containing concentrate. Typically Russian output picks up strongly in the second half with the early months of the year being hit by the harsh Russian winter.

This article appears courtesy of Mine Web. To read more daily international and financial mining news click here.


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