Where is Gold Mined?
Gold, also known by atomic number 79 or chemical symbol Au, is a naturally occurring element, existing in finite amounts in the Earth. For centuries it has held value due to its aesthetic beauty, resistance to corrosion and high malleability in currency production. Gold has been the sole obsession of many famous explorers, kings and queens and has led to early settlements of many of our world’s best cities.
Where is Gold Mined?
Today, North America and Eastern nations such as China and Russia produce 46% of the world's Gold. China tops the Gold production volume list with 444 tons, some of which is featured in APMEX’s selection as Gold Panda bullion coins. Gold mining is a powerful economic activity across 97 nations. Historically, South Africa has been the leading Gold-producing nation thanks to the Witwatersrand Basin, from which an estimated 40% of the world’s Gold ever mined comes. In 1979, South Africa accounted for 79% of the world Gold production. So, where is Gold mined? The best answer is just about everywhere.
Gold Mining Methods
The Gold mining industry has come a long way since the days of prospecting with a pan by a river. This was an early form of Placer mining, in which small deposits of loose Gold are separated from lighter sediment such as sand and gravel. Today’s modern Placer mines do essentially the same thing, just on a much larger scale utilizing many separation techniques such as hydraulic mining and dredging.
The preferred method of Gold mining today is hard rock mining, when Gold is obtained from its original rock. These are huge operations, using underground mines or strip mines. Powerful explosives and drills are used to gain access to the ore. Complex systems of heavy trucks and manpower are used to accomplish the extraction process. The Grasberg Mine in Indonesia is the largest mine in the world and employs close to 20,000 workers.
(Source: IB Times)
Gold Market News
In recent years, there have been two strong contributors to Gold price fluctuations.
From 2009 to 2011, Gold spot prices more than doubled. The Gold price serves as a good economic indicator, because an increasing Gold price signals weakness in the economy as investors move toward Gold safe havens. The years following the Great Recession, which occurred from 2007 to 2009, demonstrated this fact until mid-2013 when the economy became better stabilized and prices began to drop. Gold market news is readily available on the APMEX website and changes daily.
10-Year Historical Gold Spot Price
(View Live Gold Prices at APMEX.)
Emerging Market Demand
Two significant consumer markets have emerged in the past five years that affected all industries: India and China, which are the two most populated countries in the world. China has developed into a world power in commerce and purchasing power, and India is on the fast track to competing soon, as infrastructure and investment quality increases.