Mine Production

Gold mining is a global industry with operations on every continent except Antarctica, and gold is extracted from mines of widely varying types and scale. The World Gold Council and our member companies support the responsible mining and trading of gold from all legitimate sources.

Mines and gold mining operations have become increasingly geographically diverse, far removed from the concentrated supply of four decades or so ago when the vast majority of the world’s gold came from South Africa.

Overall levels of mine production have grown significantly since 2008, although substantial new discoveries are increasingly rare.

Gold mining and mine production does not respond quickly to prices. The project development timeline and mine lifecycle is long – it often takes decades to move from discovery to production

Producer Hedging

The volume of gold that is supplied to the market each year can also be marginally affected by forward selling of future production – known as producer hedging.

There are times when miners will want to lock in a specific price for their future gold production – for example, to manage project costs or debt servicing. These commitments will affect the amount of gold that enters the market. In previous decades, these hedging agreements had a substantial impact on supply levels but in recent years they have been relatively inconsequential and shorter term in nature.