For these reasons, gold mining companies have been around since ancient times. These companies extract and process minerals such as Gold, silver, copper, or zinc to produce gold bullion bars or coins.
Gold mining companies usually have a lot of research and data about mining techniques and processes, which is why they are in charge of providing this information to their customers.
Furthermore, gold mining companies are not only good at extracting Gold, but they also have a lot of other activities. A small number of significant corporations dominate the industry. According to data from Mining Intelligence, the top 10 gold miners in the world produced 27.48 million ounces (Moz) worth $48 billion in 2020.
We will know about these companies’ data in detail in the coming section of the article. But, first, let’s briefly understand what gold mining companies do?
Accompanying this, we will cover the following things in this article:
- What do gold mining companies do?
- Techniques gold miners use
- List of biggest gold mining companies
- In a brief discussion about the largest gold mining companies
- The Covid-19 impact on gold mining companies
- The future of the gold mines
Gold Mining Companies: What do they do?
When thinking about how Gold is mined, the image of people in hard hats often comes to mind. Nevertheless, mining ore is only one part of a long and complex process. Long before any gold can be produced, extensive exploration and development are required. With the help of this exploration and development, miners can establish the amount of the mineral deposit as precisely as possible. Moreover, they get the idea of how to collect and process the ore economically, safely, and responsibly. A gold mine can take anywhere between 10 and 20 years to generate material and process it into bullion when a deposit is located.
Gold mining companies extract Gold from the ground using various methods. They may use the following techniques to mine Gold:
- Placer Minning
- Rocker Box
- Hard Rock Mining
- By-product Gold Mining
- Gold Ore Processing
Gold is a precious resource used for many purposes, including jewelry and electronics manufacturing.
Now that we have made ourselves near and dear to the gold mining techniques, it is time to get thick as thieves with the largest gold mining companies.
If we talk about the countries producing the highest amount of Gold, China will top the list. China is producing 11.7% of the total Gold production. Further, the country China is followed by Australia, Russia, the United States, and so on. However, the irony here is that if we talk about the biggest gold mining companies, there is no Chinese company that will make its space among the largest gold mining companies.
Moving forward, let’s go through the list of gold mining companies that are topping the index.
- Newmont Goldcorp
- Barrick Gold
- Polyus Gold
- Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
In the list provided above, we can clearly see that among the biggest gold mining companies, Newmont Goldcorp is the top gold mining company.
You may have understood the irony we were talking about. To be precise, Newmont Goldcorp is the US company that is topping the list. Whereas, on the country level list, the United States has paved its way to the fourth number only.
Apart from this, China is topping the country-level list. On the contrary, no Chinese company has appeared on the list of these five biggest gold mining companies.
So far, we have managed to get palsy-walsy with the names of the largest gold mining companies. Now, we will go a little in-depth to know about these biggest gold mining companies in brief.
Newmont, situated in Colorado, is the world’s largest gold producer, producing just over 5.8 million ounces in 2020. Despite an almost 9% drop in production year over year, it maintains its top rank among the world’s major gold mining corporations.
It has activities in Africa, Australia, North America, and South America, with 94.2 million attributable ounces of Gold in mining reserves. Copper, silver, zinc, and lead are also mined.
Newmont became the world’s largest gold miner after acquiring rival Goldcorp for $10 billion in 2019.
2. Barrick Gold
With 16 active sites in 13 countries, Barrick Gold Corporation is a gold and copper mining business. Its headquarters are in Toronto, Ontario. It owns mines in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Mali, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Zambia, and Tanzania.
In 2019, it delivered 5.5 million ounces of gold at $894/ounce all-in sustaining costs and 432 million pounds of copper at $2.52/pound all-in sustaining costs. The company had 71 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves on December 31, 2019. As of Q3 2021, Barrick had met or exceeded market consensus on financial and operating results for eleven consecutive quarters.
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Franco-Nevada Corporation is another largest gold mining company. It is a gold-focused royalty and streaming firm with a broad portfolio of cash-flow-producing assets. Its properties are situated in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The New York and Toronto Stock Exchange both trade it. In 2002, Newmont purchased Franco-Nevada in its entirety as part of a three-way merger, including Newmont, Normandy, and Old Franco-Nevada.
However, Franco-Nevada was spun off by Newmont in a public offering in 2007. Since its IPO, Franco-Nevada has grown significantly by acquiring existing royalties as well as precious metal streams directly from mine operators. By-product gold and silver streams from some of the world’s most significant copper mines, notably Cobre Panama (Panama), Candelaria (Chile), Antapaccay (Peru), and the Antamina mine, have been the most prominent acquisitions.
4. Polyus Gold
Polyus, Russia’s largest gold miner, produced little under 2.8 million ounces in 2020, a 3% decrease from the previous year. It owns mines all across Russia, especially in Siberia. The greatest of which is Olimpiada in the Krasnoyarsk region, one of the world’s largest gold mines. Blagodatnoye and Natalka are two more important businesses.
The business claims to have 61 million ounces of proved and probable gold deposits, with the Olimpiada project holding 24 million ounces. Other areas in Russia are undergoing development and exploration, including the Sukhoi Log project in the Irkutsk region of Eastern Siberia.
This is another top gold company that has paved its way in the list of gold mining companies. It is a gold producer based in Canada with operations in Finland and Mexico. Besides, it makes its exploration and development efforts in the United States. Because of its policy of no-forward gold sales, Agnico Eagle is fully exposed to increasing gold prices. It has paid a cash dividend every year since 1983, as of 2017.
With the end of the brief discussion about the top gold companies, it’s time to look at the impact of Covid-19 on pure gold mining companies.
Pure gold mining companies have suffered a lot from Covid-19. Among the harmful factors, the effect of the pandemic itself plus associated disruptions have hiked fees of operations and decreased gold-mine delivery. Not only this but also COVID-19 regulations imposed with the aid of using government, delivery shortages, and a loss of transportation have also resulted in decreased delivery.
These issues are having a significant effect: overall, as many as 8 million ounces (7 percent of world mine deliver) of annualized gold manufacturing are at stake from COVID-19 disruptions. As a result, unit fees ought to boom from 1 to three percent. Some different operations have slowed manufacturing due to a loss of materials and an incapability to move professional personnel. A MineSpans evaluation indicates that usage loss results from those demanding operational situations should attain 3.7 percent.
With such issues and disruptions, it got indispensable to know the future of pure gold mining companies.
According to the World Gold Council, global production dropped by 1% in 2020, the first downhill in a decade.
Some critics argue the world has arrived at “peak gold.” This implies that the highest rate of extraction has reached. Consequently, the metal production will decline until, ultimately, mining for it shall terminate entirely.
However, demand shows no indications of slowing down as the solid gold metal remains synonymous with protection, longevity, and stability.