Russia & China Ramping Up Gold Production While US Share Declines

Submitted by SD Contributor SRSrocco:

In 1998, Nevada was actually the 4th largest gold producer in the world generating 78% of all the gold mined in the United States.  We can also see some interesting changes when we compare the two charts.

China moved from number six in 1998 (150 tonnes) to number one in 2011 (355 t).  The biggest loser turns out to be South Africa which lost its number one position (465 t) in 1998 to become number 6 (190 t) in 2011.  Furthermore, Russia moved up to the 4th largest producer in 2011 (200 t) from the 7th slot in 1998 (105 t).

Isn’t it interesting that China & Russia have increased their gold production the most compared to all the other countries in the past 13 years?  Their combined total was 555 tonnes in 2011, up from only 255 tonnes in 1998.

Do you think they are motivated to mine and acquire as much gold as they can?  I wonder why?

I have been farting around looking through the past Major Mines of Nevada Publications.  What a wonderful publication.  They list all the separate gold and silver production figures for all the individual mines in the state.  Their last publication was for 2010.  I spoke with David Davis the other day from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology about some issues on gold mining in the state.

He told me, now that the price of gold has hit $1600+, some of the mines are actually drilling for assays underneath the huge waste rock piles.  When they deposited the waste rock years ago, they never imagined they would utilize the lower grade ores in these areas.  I spoke to him about falling gold ore grades and increased diesel consumption.  He responded by telling me that he actually had never thought about it.

Regardless… I found it simply astonishing that Nevada was the 6th largest gold producer in the world in 2011:

Of the 237 metric tonnes of gold produced in 2011 in the United States, Nevada produced 74% of the total or 176 tonnes.  Nevada produced more than Peru, Canada, Indonesia and Ghana.  And it was only behind South Africa by 14 metric tonnes.   Just amazing to see one state in the entire USA produce more than most of the other countries in the world.

Even though this does seem quite impressive… it’s nothing compared to the gold Nevada produced in 1998…the year it peaked (we shall see):

Nevada produced a staggering 8.8 million oz of silver in 1998, 3.2 million more ounces than it did in 2011.  In just 13 years, Nevada’s gold production has declined 36%.  One can only imagine the decline in ore grades.

If we compare 1998 to 2011, we get the following:

In 1998, Nevada was actually the 4th largest gold producer in the world generating 78% of all the gold mined in the United States.  We can also see some interesting changes when we compare the two charts.

China moved from number six in 1998 (150 tonnes) to number one in 2011 (355 t).  The biggest loser turns out to be South Africa which lost its number one position (465 t) in 1998 to become number 6 (190 t) in 2011.  Furthermore, Russia moved up to the 4th largest producer in 2011 (200 t) from the 7th slot in 1998 (105 t).

Isn’t it interesting that China & Russia have increased their gold production the most compared to all the other countries in the past 13 years.  Their combined total was 555 tonnes in 2011, up from only 255 tonnes in 1998.

Do you think they are motivated to mine and acquire as much gold as they can?  I wonder why?