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The mines on the list are located in various countries, from Russia to Uzbekistan to the Dominican Republic. However, many of the world’s largest gold mines are owned at least in part by major miner Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD), which was the largest gold-producing company in the world last year. Without further ado, here are the 10 largest gold mines in the world by production
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The Grasberg mining district is located in Indonesia and is the largest gold mine and second largest copper mine in the world. The majority of the asset is owned by Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), which also operates in both North and South America. Grasberg consists of the Grasberg open pit, the DOZ underground mine, DMLZ underground mine and the Big Gossan underground mine.
In 2018, Barrick Nevada was comprised of two Nevada-based mines owned by Barrick Gold: Cortez and Goldstrike. GFMS lists them together because Barrick Gold considers them an integrated operation. Combined, these two mines generated 65.3 tonnes of gold in 2018
At the beginning of July 2019, Barrick Nevada became Nevada Gold mines following a joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM), which, according to the gold companies’ collaborative press release, resulted in the creation of the world’s greatest gold complex. Nevada Gold mines is 61.5 percent owned and operated by Barrick, and 38.5 percent owned by Newmont Goldcorp.
Muruntau is owned by the government of Uzbekistan, and officially takes its place as one of the biggest gold mines, coming in third in the world by production. According to GFMS, Muruntau produced 62.5 tonnes of gold last year; however, the information comes with an important caveat — details about the mine have been a longtime state secret
As suggested by its name, Newmont Goldcorp is the parent company and at of the end of 2018, Newmont Nevada consisted of a total of 11 mines and 13 processing facilities, stretched over 2.6 million acres in the state and accounted for approximately 30 percent of the company’s total global output.
The gold prices used in this table and chart are supplied by FastMarkets. Where the gold price is presented in currencies other than the US dollar, it is converted into the local currency unit using the foreign exchange rate at the time (or as close to as possible)
More gold is recovered by cyanidation than by any other process. In cyanidation, metallic gold is oxidised and dissolved in an alkaline cyanide solution. When gold dissolution is complete, the gold-bearing solution is separated from the solids
With ores of higher gold content (greater than 20 grams of gold per tonne of ore), cyanidation is accomplished by vat leaching, which involves holding a slurry of ore and solvent in large tanks equipped with agitators
For extracting gold from low-grade ores, heap leaching is practiced; huge heaps are sprayed with a dilute solution of sodium cyanide, and this percolates down through the piled ore, dissolving the gold
The Miller process uses gaseous chlorine to extract impurities when gold is at melting point; impurities separate into a layer on the surface of the molten purified gold. The Miller process is rapid and simple, but it produces gold of only about 99.5 percent purity.
The Wohlwill process increases purity to about 99.99 percent by electrolysis. In this process, a casting of impure gold is lowered into an electrolyte solution of hydrochloric acid and gold chloride. Under the influence of an electric current, the gold migrates to a negatively charged electrode (cathode), where it is restored to a highly pure metallic state, leaving the impurities as a separate solution or residue
PCF Capital Group, a provider of corporate advisory services to the mining and resource sector, has released a report, highlighting current gold all in sustaining costs (AISC) for Australian and New Zealand gold operations
While we provide profiles of high performing mines and companies featured in the report, it is important to gain a thorough understanding of what makes up AISCs, and how important this metric can be especially during periods of commodity price volatility
AISCs are the costs attributed to production at operating mines, and they are an important focus in gauging a project’s commercial viability. It is important to note, that they don’t include the costs such as building a plant and establishing the infrastructure required to bring a mine into production, commonly referred to as upfront capital expenditure (CAPEX)
AISC is a similar measure to what you might find in anything from manufacturing to retail, only in other sectors acronyms such as CODB (cost of doing business) and COGS (cost of goods sold) are applied
Different treatment processes that may be required because of the composition of the mineral or the amount of ‘waste’ that needs to be separated to extract the ore also impact the cost of the end product
Factors such as these can impact decisions such as the economic viability of mining higher grade ore at lower depths where the potential revenue generation is weighed up against the increased mining and processing costs
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