It was one of the leading countries in terms of gold mining reserves. Australia is estimated to have the largest gold mine reserves in the world. The use of metal dates back at least 5000 years, to the time of Ancient Egypt, where it was used to decorate tombs, temples and other objects. Australia is at the forefront as the country with the largest gold mine reserves in the world, with 10,000 tons.
Russia is second on the USGS list of countries with the largest gold mine reserves in the world, with 5,300 tons, almost half that of Australia. It has 24 million ounces of proven and probable reserves, with up to 39 million ounces of measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources. South Africa ranks third in the list of the largest gold mining reserves, with 3,200 tons. South Africa is home to Gold Field's South Deep gold mine, which is the largest facility of its kind in the world with 32.8 million ounces of mineral reserves.
The United States is the country with the fourth largest gold mining reserve in the world, with 3000 tons. Newmont's Carlin Trend mine in Nevada is the sixth largest gold facility in the world, while Barrick's Cortez mine, which is also located in Nevada, ranks tenth on the list. Indonesia is ranked fifth in the list of countries with the largest gold mine reserves in the world with 2,600 tons. China is currently the largest gold miner in the world, while Canada, Russia and Peru are also the main producers.
Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world and represents between 0.001 and 0.006 parts per million of the Earth's crust. But how much gold does the world extract each year and which countries produce the most? Let's think about South Africa. The country was once the world leader in gold production, with more than 1000 tons in 1970, but since then its volume has declined rapidly. Last year, it was completely removed from the list of the top 10 gold producers.
For many years, China has been the leading producer country, accounting for 11 percent of global mining production. However, production fell from 383 tons to 368 last year, representing the fourth consecutive year of declines. The downward trend is largely due to the stricter environmental policies imposed by the government. For example, tighter control over the use of cyanide in gold mines has forced several operations to reduce production.
More than 40 percent of all gold mined worldwide comes from the Witwatersrand Basin mine in South Africa. In 1970, the mine accounted for nearly 80 percent of global gold production.