We often think of gold in terms of jewelry and other decorative items that are rich in aesthetic value. Gold is also a key part of financial portfolios and is used in electronics, dentistry, nanotechnology, and other industries.
(Pixabay / communicationcy)
The world’s top 10 producers of gold are as follows:
- United States
- South Africa
This list speaks, to some degree, to the availability of gold in countries, but there’s often more to the stratification than that. For example, China has always been rich in gold deposits, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the country became the world’s largest producer of the precious metal. A couple of factors influenced this ascent. First, the government eased restrictions on purchasing gold. In addition, the country’s improving economy drove up the demand for the metal.
While gold production was ramping up in China, it was declining in South Africa, which had been one of the world’s biggest gold producers in 1990. One of the obvious reasons for the decline was that due to heavy mining, there were fewer deposits of the metal. However, there were other issues at play as well. The demand for gold in the country decreased even as the price of electricity and wages were increasing. In essence, it was becoming more expensive than ever to retrieve gold from the earth’s surface. In addition, the government failed to invest in technology to aid the industry. Thus, miners had to reach out to high-priced public corporations for support.
The “top 10” list will undoubtedly continue to change as supply, demand, national policy, the economic forecast, and other variables continue to alter the world’s gold market.