Company Reviews

Gold is decidedly the most sought-after precious metal in the world, and it is understandable why experts recommend it as part of an investment portfolio, like the gold IRA. Today, gold mining is a multi-billion dollar industry, ranging from the huge open-pit operations of the huge global mining corporations to smaller, labor-intensive, hazardous, sifted-by-hand operations in the developing countries. Large and small, automated or by hand, companies go to great lengths to separate the tiny little pieces encased in tons of rock. And, while other metals are also desirable as part of one’s portfolio (for example, silver IRAs), for the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on where most of the world’s gold comes from.

The top-producing companies in the global gold business come from just a handful of countries: Australia, Canada, China, Russia, South Africa and the United States. Yet, many of these companies acquire their profits from mines located outside of their own countries. Ranked in order by their 2013 production, here is a “top 10” list of companies and a short review of each:

 

1) Barrick Gold Corporation – Canada

This Canadian company, based in Toronto is the world’s largest gold producer, with an average output of 7.16 million ounces per year, operating 26 mines over four continents: North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Ironically, it only has one mine in Canada. Barrick’s main objective is, “to be the world’s best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.” Its “crown jewel”, the Cortez mine in Nevada, generates more than one million ounces each year.

2) Newmont Mining Corporation – USA

Newmont Mining Corporation, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, has mines throughout the globe, spanning eight countries over five continents, including North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Newmont’s most significant part of its annual production comes from sixteen mines in the U.S., all in Nevada, which average about two million of the total 5.1 million ounces of gold produced annually. It also has major operations in Peru, Ghana, Indonesia and Australia. Newmount is the first gold company to be named to Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Fortune 500 list and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

3) AngloGold Ashanti – South Africa

Africa’s largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti is a South African mining company formed by the merger of AngloGold and the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation. This company has 21 operations in ten countries over four continents, including the United States, Africa, South America and Australia.

Its six underground African mines generate almost half of its 4.1 million ounces per year. Their long range vision is to become the top global gold mining company, while preserving natural landscapes, valuing its workers and their safety while lowering costs and maximizing profits. Recently, the company reputation has suffered greatly after consecutive strikes from miners complaining of low wages and unfair treatment, causing major disruption of its South African mines.

4) Goldcorp Inc. – Canada

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Goldcorp’s operations include five mines in Canada and the United States; three mines in Mexico, and three in So5233580_s Gold mine worker pours molten Gold into ingot molduth and Central America. They are one of the fastest growing gold producers, with operations and development projects located throughout North and South America. Of the 2.67 million ounces mined each year, their Red Lake Mine in northern Ontario and the Its Peñasquito mine in central Mexico deliver 890,000 ounces combined.

5) Kinross Gold Corporation – Canada

Kinross was founded in 1993 after a merger of three companies, which owned a mine in British Columbia and royalties on a mine in Nevada. Following a series of mergers and takeovers, Kinross now operates gold mines on four continents. Although Kinross is based in Toronto, Ontario, it has five established operations and three developmental sites in six different countries: Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana, Russia and the United States. Its Brazilian property, Paracuta, is that country’s largest gold mine, generating 450,000 of the 2.63 million ounces that Kinross produces each year.

6) Newcrest Mining – Australia

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Newcrest operates seven mines in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In August 2010, Newcrest merged with Lihir Gold, creating the world’s sixth largest gold company, with a combined production of 2.1 million ounces in 2013. Its Lihir mine in Papua New Guinea delivers 600,000 ounces of gold annually.

Their operation located in the Cadia Valley near Sydney also generates almost half a million ounces per year. It has an extensive development projects and exploration activities for gold and gold-copper deposits in Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Canada, Peru and the United States. Newcrest is the largest gold company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and is also listed on the Port Moresby and Toronto Stock Exchanges.

7) Gold Fields Ltd. – South Africa

Formed in 1998 by the consolidation of Gencor Limited and Gold Fields of South Africa Limited, Gold Fields Limited is gold mining company and a gold reserves holder in South Africa, Australia, Ghana, and Peru. Most of Gold Fields’ gold mines are located in South Africa with operations in South Deep, Driefontein, Beatrix and Kloof. They also have an interest in a platinum group exploration project. The company’s chief development project, South Deep, near Johannesburg, contains an amazing 84 million ounces of gold still to be recovered. It is also the world’s second-largest single working gold deposit.

8) Polyus Gold International – Russia

Based in Moscow, Polyus Gold International is an Open Joint Stock Company (OJSC) and operates almost solely in Siberia, with most of its mines in the desolate Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions. With its only one project located outside of Russia, this company is the leading gold producer in Russia and Kazakhstan, operating mines and projects within the five major gold mining regions of Russia. Olimpiada, its largest mine, produces over 600,000 ounces per year, and company total of almost 1.7 million annually.

9) China National Gold Group Corporation – China

Based in Beijing, China National Gold is the only government-owned company that produces gold, mainly in Mongolia, Tibet and the Shandong province and generating 1.4 million ounces per year. This company also has interest in other areas of the mining industry, including mineral processing, refining, scientific research, engineering design and construction in China and worldwide.

In addition, they specialize in the industry of non-ferrous metals, such as silver, copper, molybdenum, gold and more. Aside from mining, the company offers irradiation processing that includes medical product sterilization, food preservation and chemical material modification services industries. Furthermore, China National Gold Group exports and imports gold and specializes in custom-designed gold and silver bars.

10) Yamana Gold Inc. – Canada

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Yamana Gold has its mining operations centered in Latin America with sizable production, significant developmental sites and promising exploration projects in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The company’s portfolio includes eight active gold mines which produce a combined 1.2 million ounces each year. Its biggest producer, El Peñon in Chile, yields more than 450,000 ounces per year.

In the next several articles, we will review a few of the firms who can help investors who wish to buy gold or other metals for their IRAs, since this is now a vehicle for those interested in diversifying from other options. We’ll talk about Bullion Direct, Lear Capital, Regal Assets, and Rosland Capital for starters.

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