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China goes for gold

Asian giant set to knock SA from top gold producer spot

16/09/07. Emerging global superpower China, which has established itself
as the world’s second largest gold producer after seven years of strong,
continued growth, looks set to become the new world leader, especially if
gold production in South Africa continues to decline.

This is the view of precious metals consultancy GFMS, which said China
recently made production announcements at three notable operations.

These operations were expected to ramp up through the rest of this year,
adding to China’s production profile. GFMS said China posted strong
growth in gold mine production year-on-year to total 129 tons for the first
half of this year.

Increases in Asian gold production, particularly the growth in Chinese
production by nearly 20 tons and an 83 percent increase in Indonesian
output, helped the industry post a 3 percent rise in mine production to
1201 tons in the first half of this year.

But lower production out of Africa and Latin America weakened the rise
seen in Asia.

Latin American producers trimmed almost 25 tons off first-half gold output
compared to 2006 and South African gold production was 7 percent lower.
South Africa, which comprised about 66 percent of world production in the
1970s, produced 275 tons last year.

This reflected a 7,5 percent year-on-year reduction and the lowest output
since 1922.

The country’s gold production profile was also not likely to grow as many
producing mines were reaching maturity. – I-Net Bridge