Gold has always been one of the world’s most precious and coveted metals. Rarity is the primary reason for its value. Estimates on global reserves are not much higher than 56,000 metric tons. The countries with the largest estimated reserves are Australia, Russia, and South Africa. Approximately 3,100 metric tons of gold was produced worldwide in 2016. Currently, China is the world’s leading producer of gold, followed by Australia and United States.
Among gold mining companies, Barrick Gold from Canada is the global leader, with a production output of 5.52 million ounces in 2016. Barrick Gold announced revenue figures of 8.56 billion U.S. dollars for 2016. In the same year, the company had an average realized gold price per ounce of 1,248 U.S. dollars. Newmont Mining from the U.S., and AngloGold Ashanti from South Africa are the next largest gold producers. M&A activities in the gold mining sector are very vibrant. Taking all mining and metal deals into account for 2015, gold was the most targeted commodity, both by value and number.
Over the last decade, global demand for gold has increased constantly, marking a new record high of over 4,309 metric tons in 2016. This has of course influenced the global price of gold. Gold reached an annual average price of almost 1,251 U.S. dollars in 2016. To put that figure into context, the price stood at some 271 U.S. dollars in 2001. This makes it clear that gold is still one of the world’s most coveted commodities and most rewarding investments.
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