Here Are the World's Top 10 Gold Producing Mines

By: Frank Holmes | Wed, Jun 1, 2016
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Gold output across the globe hit an all-time high in 2015, climbing 1.8 percent to 3,211 tonnes. Much of this growth was led by Mexico, whose output increased double digits (18 percent) from 112 tonnes in 2014 to 133 tonnes last year. Indonesia grew 20 percent, Kazakhstan 29 percent.

This year, global production is expected to level out as project development budgets were slashed during the three-year gold bear market. But with gold prices rebounding, miners are in a good position to be much more profitable.

Below, explore and discover the world's top 10 gold producing mines.


10.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Boddington Australia
Australia Flag
Newmont
Newmont Mining
2014
21.6
2015
24.7

Boddington Mine

The Boddington gold and copper deposit, located 75 miles southeast of Perth, Australia, is the country's largest gold mine. The first gold was poured in 2009, and in 2011 Newmont produced its first one million ounces from the site. The mining company has identified gold reserves of 19.5 million ounces at Boddington and plans to spend half a billion dollars to expand production.


9.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Lihir Papua New Guinea
New Guinea Flag
Newcrest
Newcrest Mining
2014
20.3
2015
25.0

Lihir Mine

Gold was first discovered on Papua New Guinea's Aniolam Island in 1982, and in 1997, the first gold was poured at the Lihir project, then managed by Rio Tinto. Australia-based Newcrest acquired the gold deposit in 2010 and has since struggled to keep operation costs under control. The company recently announced that expansion will cost a lot less expensive than initially thought, owing to new processing equipment that can more easily handle sulfur.


8.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Peñasquinto Mexico
Mexico Flag
Goldcorp
Goldcor
2014
17.7
2015
26.8

Peñasquinto Mine

Wholly owned by Canadian miner Goldcorp, the Peñasquinto mine is located in the State of Zacatecas. It's the largest open pit mine in Mexico and the fifth largest silver mine in the world. Besides gold and silver, the project, in operation since March 2010, also yields zinc and lead. In 2007, Silver Wheaton entered into an agreement with Goldcorp to buy 25 percent of all silver output for the life of the mine.


7.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Carlin United States
US Flag
Newmont
Newmont Mining
2014
28.2
2015
27.6

Carlin Mine

Whether we're talking about glittering Las Vegas casinos or mining, gold and Nevada are nearly synonymous. The state accounts for 75 percent of total U.S. output, and it's even estimated to be responsible for producing 3 percent of all gold ever mined in human history. Much of this comes out of the state's Carlin Trend, the most abundant goldfield in the Western Hemisphere. Along the trend is Newmont's historic Carlin project, which consists of three open pits and four underground mines. In May 2015, the company celebrated 50 successful years of gold production at the site, which was the first in North America to generate more than one million ounces in a single year.


6.

Mine Country Owners Tonnes Produced
Yanacocha Peru
Peru Flag
Newmont (51%),
Minas Buenaventura (43%),
International Finance Corp. (5%)
Newmont Mining
Buenaventura
IFC
2014
30.2
2015
28.6

Yanacocha Mine

At more than 15,000 feet above sea level in Northern Peru, the Yanacocha project sits atop the Andean continental divide. It's the largest gold mine in Latin America, covering some 535 square miles. Consisting of five open pit mines, it's been producing gold since August 1993. Ownership of the mine is split among Newmont; Minas Buenaventura, a Peruvian company; and the International Finance Corporation, controlled by the World Bank.


5.

Mine Country Owners Tonnes Produced
Pueblo Viejo Dominican Republic
Dominican Republc Flag
Barrick (60%),
Goldcorp (40%)
Barrick Gold
Goldcorp
2014
34.5
2015
29.7

Pueblo Viejo Mine

A joint venture between Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold producer, and Goldcorp, the Pueblo Viejo mine is situated in the rolling green hills of central Dominican Republic, more than 60 miles north of its capital, Santo Domingo. The two Canadian companies took over the project in 2012 after the Dominican government unsuccessfully tried to mine it, with full production capacity reached in 2014. In August 2015, Barrick entered into a streaming contract with Royal Gold, whereby Royal agreed to front $610 million while Barrick is obligated to deliver 7.5 percent of all gold it produces at Pueblo Viejo.


4.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Cortez United States
US Flag
Barrick
Barrick Gold
2014
28.1
2015
31.1

Cortez Mine

Barrick employs 4,000 people in Nevada, or about a third of the state's entire mining industry labor force. Many of these people work at the company's Cortez operation, located in central Nevada. As one of Barrick's most promising ore bodies, the site is scheduled to receive $153 million from the company through 2020. This will help expand its underground mining capacity, allowing it to produce an additional 300,000 ounces per year.


3.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Goldstrike United States
US Flag
Barrick
Barrick Gold
2014
28.1
2015
32.8

Goldstrike Mine

Since 1987, Barrick has operated the Goldstrike mine, also located in north-central Nevada. As the largest gold mine in North America, Goldstrike employs about 1,700 people. Over the last couple of decades, workers have developed a new way to process ore at the site, known as "total carbonaceous matter leach," which will allow the company to repurpose lower-grade ores. The process is set to move out of its testing phase sometime this year.


2.

Mine Country Owners Tonnes Produced
Grasberg Indonesia
Indonesia Flag
Freeport-McMoRan (90%),
Government of Indonesia (9%)
Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold
2014
38.8
2015
42.3

Grasberg Mine

High up in the rain-soaked mountains of Papua province, where earthquakes are not uncommon, sits the world's largest known gold reserve and second largest copper reserve. Roughly 18,000 people work at the Grasberg mine, for which a village, called Tembagapura, was constructed, containing roads, housing, schools, a hospital and an airport. Nearly a mile wide, the project consists of both an open pit and underground operation. The company is currently in negotiations with the Indonesian government to extend its mining contract, which is scheduled to expire in 2021.


1.

Mine Country Owner Tonnes Produced
Muruntau Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan Flag
Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan 2014
61.0
2015
61.0

Muruntau Mine

Discovered in Uzbekistan's arid Kyzyl Kum Desert in 1958, the Muruntau gold deposit began operations in 1967. Today, it's the largest open pit mine by area and, at 1,900 feet deep, is the world's fifth deepest. The project, which also contains huge deposits of turquoise and arsenic, sits atop what many geologists believe could be the world's biggest gold reserve, with various estimates placing the amount at between 2,500 and a mind-boggling 5,300 tonnes.

 


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This commentary should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment product.

Certain materials in this commentary may contain dated information. The information provided was current at the time of publication. Sources: Various companies, Gold Focus 2016, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Elko Daily Free Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mining Technology, U.S. Geological Survey, Mining.com, RareGoldNuggets.com

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the slideshow were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of 3/31/2016: Newcrest Mining Ltd., Goldcorp Inc., Franco-Nevada Corp., Silver Wheaton Corp., Barrick Gold Corp., Royal Gold Inc.

 


 

Frank Holmes

Author: Frank Holmes

Frank E. Holmes
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Investment Officer
U.S. Global Investors

Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes is CEO and chief investment officer of U.S. Global Investors, Inc., which manages a diversified family of mutual funds and hedge funds specializing in natural resources, emerging markets and infrastructure.

The company's funds have earned more than two dozen Lipper Fund Awards and certificates since 2000. The Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) was Lipper's top-performing global natural resources fund in 2010. In 2009, the World Precious Minerals Fund (UNWPX) was Lipper's top-performing gold fund, the second time in four years for that achievement. In addition, both funds received 2007 and 2008 Lipper Fund Awards as the best overall funds in their respective categories.

Mr. Holmes was 2006 mining fund manager of the year for Mining Journal, a leading publication for the global resources industry, and he is co-author of "The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing."

He is also an advisor to the International Crisis Group, which works to resolve global conflict, and the William J. Clinton Foundation on sustainable development in nations with resource-based economies.

Mr. Holmes is a much-sought-after conference speaker and a regular commentator on financial television. He has been profiled by Fortune, Barron's, The Financial Times and other publications.


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