Global gold production up 4.2% in Q1 2021 - report
(Kitco News) - According to the data by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources of the Government of Australia (DISER), in Q1 2021, global gold mine production grew by 4.2% year-on-year to 851 tonnes, driven by higher production in Canada and Indonesia.
DISER reported that in Canada, higher ore grades in the Canadian Malartic, LaRonde and Meadowbank gold mines contributed an additional 1.8 tonnes of gold to the country’s gold output.
Production in Indonesia increased by 29% year-on-year, driven by a 93% year-on-year rise at Grasberg, the world’s third largest gold mine, following its transition from open cut to underground mining in the first half of 2019.
Production in Australia, the world’s second largest gold producing country, fell by 3.1% year-on-year in the March quarter, to 75 tonnes.
DISER noted that over this period, production in China, the world’s largest gold producing country, fell by around 2.0% year-on-year, as two fatal accidents in the Hushan and Caojiawa gold mines in Shandong province in January and February 2021 led to production suspensions at several gold mines in the region as safety checks were undertaken.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), gold mine production fell by around 19% year-on-year, as COVID-19 containment measures in March 2021 reduced Newcrest’s 22 tonnes a year Lihir gold mine production by 8.5% quarter-on-quarter. Barrick Gold’s 15 tonnes a year Porgera gold mine in PNG, which is on care and maintenance since April 2020, did not restart in the March quarter, despite the PNG Government and Barrick Gold reaching an in principle agreement on the ownership and operation of the mine in October 2020.
DISER pointed out that in 2021, world gold supply is forecast to increase by 3.6% to 4,788 tonnes, driven by higher gold mine production in Australia, the US and Canada.
Australian output is forecast to rise by 7.7% to 353 tonnes in 2021, and production in Canada and the US is forecast to rise by 24% and 6.5% to 224 and 212 tonnes, respectively, driven by a production recovery from the COVID-19 disruption.
Chinese gold mine output is forecast to fall by 2.2% in 2021, to 356 tonnes, as stricter environmental regulations lead to mine closures.
Gold mine production in Latin America is expected to recover in 2021, following heavy losses in 2020. Production is forecast to increase in Mexico (by 14% in 2021 to 121 tonnes), Peru (up 15% to 100 tonnes) and Brazil (up 3.4% to 90 tonnes).