'China becomes world's biggest gold producer'
China has become the world's biggest producer of gold last year, overtaking South Africa which held top spot for 100 years, says the independent precious metals consultancy GFMS.business Updated: Apr 09, 2008 19:59 IST
"China became the world's biggest producer of gold last year, overtaking South Africa which held top spot for 100 years," the independent precious metals consultancy GFMS said in london on Wednesday.
Meanwhile the price of gold was on course to reach a record high of 1,100 dollars an ounce in 2008 amid global financial turbulence, the respected research group added in its latest annual Gold Survey.
Gold struck an all-time peak of 1,032.70 dollars an ounce on March 17, four days after the yellow metal breached 1,000 dollars for the first time.
"Global mine production fell by a slight 0.4 per cent in 2007 to an eleven year low," GFMS said in its report published on Wednesday.
"Africa saw the heaviest regional drop at 29 tonnes -- chiefly due to South Africa -- while output in North America and Latin America also fell ... In contrast, Asia saw gains, centred on Indonesia and China, with the latter becoming the world's leading gold producer in 2007," it added.
GFMS chairman Philip Klapwijk said that China was expected to consolidate its lead in 2008, "primarily as a result of further declines expected in South Africa due to its ongoing power supply issues."
GFMS forecast that global mine production in 2008 would be "broadly in line" with last year's level.
The consultancy added: "Of note (in 2007) was the fact that China posted a 33 tonne rise (in gold output) to become the top global performer, overtaking South Africa's century-long position as the world's leading gold producer.