Hundreds of mining companies are digging for gold in dozens of nations, making gold mining a global business. But where are the world's largest gold mines located?
The top 10 gold-producing mines in 2021 are mapped in the infographic above, which incorporates data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and company reports.
Nine countries in North America, Oceania, Africa, and Asia are home to the world's ten largest gold mines.In 2021, they produced roughly 13 million ounces of gold, or around 12% of global gold production.
From 13 million ounces of gold produced in 2021, Uzbekistan and Indonesia contributed for 3,8% of global gold production. These countries have the world's second and third largest mines, respectively.
The state-owned Muruntau mine in Uzbekistan produced just under 3 million ounces of gold, making it the world's second-largest open-pit operation. Muruntau accounts for more than 80% of Uzbekistan's total gold production.
In 2021, just two other mines, Grasberg in Papua, Indonesia, and Olimpiada in Russia, produced more than 1 million ounces of gold. Grasberg is the world's third-biggest gold mine, as well as one of the world's largest copper mines. Olimpiada, which is owned by Russian gold mining tycoon Polyus, has a gold reserve of roughly 26 million ounces.
The mythical status from the Grasberg..
The Grasberg mine was discovered in the mid-1930s by Dutch colonists who discovered copper riches in the Jayawijaya Mountain glaciers in Indonesian New Guinea. Mining operations began in 1972, but by the mid-1980s, the mine was mostly depleted.
It wasn't until 1988, when PT Freeport Indonesia (a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.) began exploring other deposits in the area, that they realized it had the potential to be a highly successful location.
The Grasberg mine, which is estimated to have $40 billion in gold ore reserves, has achieved mythological status as the world's largest and most valuable gold-producing mine. Is Grasberg, however, still deserving of its prized title?
Grasberg's position as the world's greatest gold producer hasn't come without challenges. Several mines throughout the world have tried to compete with the mega mine, including South Deep in South Africa, Lihir in Papua New Guinea, and Muruntau in Uzbekistan.
Source: VisualCapitalist.com, MiningDigital.com