China's Gold Output Falls 7.9% In First Half Of 2018
(Kitco News) - The world’s top gold-producing nation posted a drop in output during the first half of the year as miners feel the effects of tighter environmental regulations, according to the latest data from the China Gold Association.
In a report released Wednesday, the CGA said that China produced 190.28 tonnes of gold from January to June, a drop of 7.9% compared to the first half of 2017.
China could be on its way to its second consecutive annual decline in gold output. Last year the nation produced 426.142 tonnes of gold, a fall of 6% from the previous year, which was the first decline in 17 years.
According to the report, mined gold declined 9.4% from last year, totaling 161.2 tonnes. Primary gold mining accounted for 84.9% of China's domestic production.
Meanwhile, gold produced as a by-product of base-metals production increased 2.1%, totaling 28.66 tonnes, the CGA said.
The report attributed the decline in gold production to the government’s environmental crackdown on illegal mining, including withdrawal of mining rights in natural reserves. Government changes to mining rights transfers and royalty payments also led gold producers to curtail production, the report said.
While China’s domestic gold production dropped in the first six months of the year, the association said that demand saw a modest 0.3% increase, totaling 541.22 tonnes.
Many analysts have been watching the Chinese government’s growing focus on environmental issues. Many have noted that stronger environmental regulations have led to a significant drop in global production in base metals like zinc and copper.