Key facts about gold
The global mine production of gold steadily rose after the 2008 economic crisis. In 2008, gold mine production worldwide totaled 2,280 metric tons and increased to estimated three thousand metric tons in 2015. Alongside mining costs, the U.S. production value of gold increased from 3.67 billion U.S. dollars in 2005 to 12.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, and then decreased to 8.57 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. China is currently leading the global gold mine production at an estimated 455 metric tons in 2016, while Australia is second, producing about 270 metric tons in the same year. Gold can be mined through several different processes including placer mining, panning, sluicing, and dredging. Panning is a manual technique that uses a shallow pan filled with sand and gravel, that may also contain gold, to sort through the material. The precious metal can also be produced as a byproduct often with copper mining.
It is also highly valued as a precious metal for use in coins, investments, and jewelry. In the third quarter of 2016, it was primarily used for jewelry and investments, which accounted for 493 metric tons and 336 metric tons of gold respectively.