Who’s the biggest gold producer in the world?
Gold is the world’s most precious metal that helps mitigate risk when geopolitical crisis leads to economic uncertainty. Discover which countries are the world’s largest gold producers.
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Gold industry overview
Gold is one of the precious metals that has stood the test of time in terms of its value. The amount of gold purchased globally each year has trebled since the early 70s.
Historically, countries like South Africa were known to house some of the world’s largest gold reserves, but these have been surpassed by nations like China, Russia, Australia and the United States over the years.
Gold is a rare commodity that serves as a safe haven for investors during times of volatility and uncertainty that come with geopolitical crisis. This is because it has a long-term storage value and can be used to hedge against inflation.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine resulted in the gold price increase by 6% month on month in February 2022, to $1910/oz – the largest monthly gain since May 2021.1
Gold is not only used for jewellery, technology, bars and coins, but central banks also stock up on it. Central banks hold more than 35,000 metric tons of gold, making up about a fifth of all the gold ever mined.2, 3
The world’s top gold producers
China – 368.3 tonnes
Deemed the world’s largest consumer of gold for a decade, it's no surprise China is at the top of the global list of gold producing countries. China is the largest global gold producer, accounting for 11% of production worldwide.1 In recent years, the levels of gold reserves decreased from 383 tonnes to 368.3 tonnes.
This continuous decrease in the gold production has been due to the strict environmental regulations introduced by the Chinese government, leading to the closure of many small mines that weren't efficient.2
Despite China’s consumption numbers decreasing by 17% during 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this gold production showed a steady increase in quarter three (Q3) 2021.1
Russia – 331.1 tonnes
Russia is the second largest gold producer in the world after outstripping Australia of this position in 2019. Russia has positioned itself to be Europe’s main supplier of gold since 2010 as it increased its production capacity on an annual basis to the 331.1 tonnes in reserves.4
The biggest local consumer of gold has been the Russian government, which has bought approximately two thirds of this precious metal.5
Sanctions placed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine has had a negative impact on the economy, but with its large gold reserves, the country is likely to use these to hedge against inflation.
Australia – 327.8 tonnes
Despite having dropped from second position to being the third largest gold producer in the world, Australia has had an increased production from eight years leading up to 2021.5 The country has about 327.8 tonnes of gold in reserves.1
Gold is among the top commodities in Australia's minerals industry that attribute to over 50% of the country's total exports and 8% of gross domestic product (GDP). This has also been attributable to a couple of mining companies such as Cadia Valley and Mount Morgans increasing their productivity over the years.5
United States – 190.2 tonnes
The United States (US) is the fourth largest global gold producer with 190.2 tonnes in reserves.1 The country’s gold supply decreased below the 200 tonnes mark since 2019 and the pandemic likely didn’t help those production numbers.6
The state of Nevada accounts for 80% of the country’s gold production in 2021. The country’s gold net exports were about $9 billion.5, 6
Canada – 170.6 tonnes
Canada holds 170.6 tonnes of reserves with a production value of $12.3 billion in 2020. Even though nine provinces in Canada are involved in gold mining, Ontario and Quebec are accountable for 71% of the production.1, 7
Data for the year ending 30 December 2020 shows Canada exported 6.5 million ounces or 70% of its gold to the United Kingdom, which was to the value of $23.7 billion in, a 6% increase from $22.3 billion the year before.4
Ghana – 138.7 tonnes
Ghana has made it into the top six position as the world’s gold producer with 138.7 tonnes reserves. The west African country exports 37% of its minerals with gold making up about 90% of the output.1
Mining is important in the performance of Ghana’s economy since the industry went from being state-owned in the 80s to being privately owned, attracting foreign direct investment. The mining industry is also the largest tax-paying sector contributing to GDP and job creation.8
Ghana surpassed South Africa which has slipped to the 11th place globally.1 This is likely as a result of South African mining giants like AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields looking to Ghana for more affordable production costs.5
Brazil – 107.0 tonnes
Brazil has gained some ground from the 10th position to being the 7th largest world gold producer with 107 tonnes of reserves. The three most important mineral commodities produced in Brazil, by economic value, are gold, iron ore and copper.
Brazil has approximately 20% of the total gold available in the world. However, its gold reserves are equivalent to 3.4% of the world total.9 And about 28% of gold exports from Brazil are from illegal mines.10
Uzbekistan – 101.6 tonnes
This central Asian country is the eighth largest gold producer and has 101.6 tonnes of reserves. Uzbekistan has one of the world’s largest reserves in the one-pit goldfield, the Muruntau Gold Mine, which is estimated to house more than 4000 tonnes of the precious metal.11
Mexico – 101.6 tonnes
Mexico is the ninth largest world gold producer and has 101.6 tonnes in reserves.1 This has shrunk compared to the amount 131 tonnes it had in gold reserves in 2015, but considering that in 2008 the country only had 50.8 tonnes Mexico has made great strides in its gold production.5
It’s also known to have low regulation costs for exploration, making it an attractive gold mining destination.5
The country generally ships large amounts of mining minerals and ores that had a trade balance in excess of $12.2 billion in 2020, exports totalled $15.6 billion. Mexico’s total mineral ores exports have been on a steady 5.8% incline since 2017.12
Indonesia – 100.9 tonnes
Indonesia is the tenth largest world gold producer and has 100.9 tonnes of reserves.1 Indonesia supplies about 3% of the world’s gold. It’s also home to Grasberg, the second largest gold mine in the world.5
In addition to being the tenth largest gold producer, the South Pacific country is an important global player within the mining of coal, copper, tin and nickel.13
Despite the country’s mining industry being ranked highly on a global scale, its mining laws, which gives government control over the designation of land to be explored have been seen as a deterrent in attracting foreign investors.13
How to trade in gold
Choose the gold asset you want to trade
There are a variety of gold markets you can trade with us, including the spot price, futures and options. You’ll do this via CFD trading which is very different from investing in gold.
Trading gold stocks and ETFs
|Investing in gold stocks and ETFs|
|Speculate on the price of gold stocks and ETFs rising or falling||Purchase and selling of underlying gold stocks and ETFs|
|Leverage your exposure – you’ll only pay a 20-25% deposit* to get exposure to the full position size||Payment of the full value of the shares or ETFs bought upfront|
|Leverage means both profit and loss will still be magnified to the value of the full trade – so you could gain or lose money faster than you’d expect||Investors may get back less than they put in because the value of shares and ETF can fall as well as rise|
|Depending on the territory, you may offset losses||In some territories there may be tax benefits|
|Take shorter-term positions||Focus on longer-term growth|
|You can look to hedge an investment portfolio when trading||Diversified portfolio|
|Trade without owning the underlying asset||Ownership of the underlying asset|
|No shareholder privileges||Voting rights and dividends (if paid)|
|Trade in a CFD account||Not available in IG International|
*Deposits on leveraged trades are 20%-25% for 99.14% of tier-one shares (correct as of 1 June 2020). For more information, view our share trading margin rates
Open an account
With us, choose which gold assets you want to trade by either opening a CFD trading account. Take your position on the gold spot price, futures and options using leveraged products -CFDs.
When trading with leverage, you’ll need to pay an initial deposit called margin to open a position and increase your exposure to your gold stock of choice. While leverage can magnify your profits, it will amplify your losses – manage your risk carefully.
Once you’ve chosen the gold market to trade in you can then open a live account with us. If you’re not confident with your trading skills, you can open a demo account with us so you can practice with $20,000 in virtual funds in a risk-free environment.
Pick your market and open your position
Once you’ve chosen the gold market you’d like to trade, you can then open your first trade using your CFD trading account.
Spot gold is the purchase or sale of the precious metal ‘on the spot’, which means the exchange takes place at the exact point that the trade is settled. When trading spot gold, you buy and sell the gold at the current market rate, known as the spot price.
Futures contracts enable you to trade on gold for a fixed price on a date set in the future. Futures contracts are standardised for quantity and quality – only their price is driven by market forces.
Options contracts work in a similar way to futures, but you won’t have any obligation to execute the trade when buying. Options give you the right to exchange gold at a price set for a specified date. You won’t buy the actual options contract with us, but you’ll use CFDs.
Use exchange traded funds (ETFs) to track the movement of shares within a basket of publicly traded gold mining, refining and production companies. ETFs are passive investments, which replicate market returns rather than seeking to outperform them Trading in ETFs will increase your exposure compared to opening a single position, making this a popular way of diversifying your portfolio.
With us you can trade in gold stocks to get indirect exposure to gold. This will enable you to diversify your portfolio within the gold industry, going long or short on companies involved in mining and production, for instance, or gold.
Gold industry outlook
The outlook for the gold industry is positive with increased gold price assumptions for 2022 to 2023. This is reflective of the increased demand for gold, owing to the precious metal being a safe haven for many investors looking to hedge inflation amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.15
Projections by rating agencies suggest that the gold price will likely remain unchanged over the long term as the hikes in interest rates continue post the Covid-19 pandemic.15
The year’s forecast suggests that demand for metals will likely be constrained despite the intensive exploration efforts. However, demand for precious metals such as gold is likely to sustain growth within the mining industry.16
1 World Gold Council, 2022
2 Globaldata, 2022
3 Reuters, 2022
4 As at 30 December 2020
5 Forbes, 2021
6 U.S. Geological Survey, 2020
7 Government of Canada, 2022
8 International Trade Administration, 2022
9 OECD iLibrary, 2021
10 Reuters, 2021
11 Mining Technology, 2021
12 International Trade Administration, 2021
13 pwc, 2019
15 FitchRatings, 2022
16 S&P Global, 2021
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.
Speculate on commodities
Trade commodity futures, as well as 27 commodity markets with no fixed expiries.1
- Wide range of popular and niche metals, energies and softs
- Spreads from 0.3 pts on Spot Gold, 2 pts on Spot Silver and 2.8 pts on Oil
- View continuous charting, backdated for up to five years
1In the case of all DFBs, there is a fixed expiry at some point in the future.
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