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The world's top 10 largest gold mines in 2022 - report

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(Kitco News) - Kitco ranked the world’s biggest gold mines by production in 2022. The ranking below was developed on the basis of 2022 (calendar year) production figures reported by companies and preliminary estimates for Muruntau.

1. Grasberg, Indonesia. 1,798 koz. Freeport-McMoRan’s Grasberg copper-gold deposit in the Indonesian province of Papua was discovered in 1936 by a Dutch geologist who called it Ertsberg or “ore mountain”. The mine is located 4,100m above sea level near Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Papua. Production of gold peaked in 2001 at above 3,500 koz. The mine produced 1,798 koz of gold in 2022, up 31% over 2021 as the company successfully transitioned Grasberg to be the world’s largest underground block-caving operation.

Importantly, the company reported that long-term mine development activities are ongoing for the Kucing Liar deposit in the Grasberg minerals district, which is expected to produce over 6 billion pounds of copper and 6 million ounces of gold between 2028 and the end of 2041.

2. Muruntau, Uzbekistan. 1,700 koz (estimated). The Muruntau open pit mining complex is estimated to produce approximately 1,700 koz of gold in 2022 (excluding heap leach operations). Operated by the state-owned Navoi Mining Enterprise, the mine is more than 3.3km long, 2.5km wide and nearly 600m deep. Muruntau has over 150 million ounces of gold in reserves and resources.

3. Carlin, USA. 1,571 koz. On July 1, 2019, Barrick’s Goldstrike (including 60% share of South Arturo) and Newmont’s Carlin were contributed to Nevada Gold Mines and are now referred to as Carlin. This gigantic integrated operation located west of the city of Elko on the geologic feature known as the Carlin Trend. Stretching 56km (35mi), the Carlin Trend was first prospected by Newmont geologists John Livermore and Alan Coope in 1965.

Carlin is the largest gold mining operation in the US and one of the largest in the world. Gold production in 2022 of 1,571 koz was 5% higher y-o-y as the prior year was impacted by the mechanical mill failure at Carlin’s Goldstrike roaster, which occurred in May 2021.

4. Olimpiada, Russia. 1,043 koz. Located in one of Russia’s most prolific gold mining provinces, gigantic Olimpiada mine is Polyus’ largest operation. The mine began production in 1996 and currently accounts for 40% of the Moscow-based company’s total gold output. The ore mined at the site is processed at three plants with a combined capacity of 13 million tonnes of ore annually. In 2022, total gold output was 1,043 koz, down 6% y-o-y reflecting lower grades in processed ores.

5. Boddington, Australia. 798 koz. Boddington is located 81 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Perth in Western Australia and is accessible primarily by paved road. Boddington has been wholly owned by Newmont since June 2009 when Newmont acquired the final 33.33% interest from AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited. Gold production increased 15% in 2022 primarily due to higher ore grade milled, partially offset by lower mill throughput.

6. Kibali, DRC. 750 koz. Kibali is the largest gold mine in Africa, located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), approximately 220 kilometres east of the capital of the Haut Uele province, Isiro, 150 kilometres west of the Ugandan border town of Arua and 1,800 kilometres from the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The mine is owned by Kibali Goldmines SA (Kibali) which is a joint venture company effectively owned 45% by each of Barrick and AngloGold Ashanti, and 10% by Société Miniére de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO). The mine is operated by Barrick.

7. Detour Lake, Canada. 733 koz. The Detour Lake mine is located in northeastern Ontario, approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Timmins. Detour Lake is the largest gold mine in Canada. In 2022, total gold production at Detour Lake set a new production record at 732,572 ounces.

8. Cortez, USA. 731 koz. The Cortez gold mining complex is a large mining and processing facility in Lander and Eureka County, Nevada, United States, located approximately 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Elko and comprises the Pipeline and South Pipeline deposits and the Cortez Hills deposit. Pipeline and South Pipeline are open pit mines, while Cortez Hills is an underground and open pit mining operation. On July 1, 2019, Cortez was contributed to Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture between Barrick and Newmont.

Gold production in 2022 of 731 koz was 12% lower compared to 2021. This was primarily driven by lower leach and refractory ore tonnes mined from both Crossroads and Pipeline, partially offset by an increase in grade from Cortez Hills underground as well as increased ore tonnes mined and processed from the Goldrush development project.

9. Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic. 713 koz. The Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic is about 100 km northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo. The mine is operated by the Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation — a joint venture between Barrick (60%) and Newmont (40%).  Pueblo Viejo consists of two main open pits, Moore and Monte Negro, with processing through autoclaves. The plant expansion and mine life extension projects remain on track.

Gold production in 2022 was lower than the prior year, mainly due to lower grades processed in line with the mine and stockpile processing plan, partially offset by higher tonnes processed.

10. Loulo Gounkoto, Mali. 684 koz. The Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex comprises two distinct mining permits, Loulo and Gounkoto, and is situated in western Mali, bordering Senegal and adjacent to the Falémé River. Société des Mines de Loulo SA (Loulo) owns the Loulo gold mine, and Société des Mines de Gounkoto (Gounkoto) owns the Gounkoto gold mine. Both Loulo and Gounkoto are owned by Barrick (80%), and the State of Mali (20%).

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.