RANKED: The world’s top 10 gold miners

Newmont cemented its top producer status with the acquisition of Newcrest last year. Credit: Newmont

Gold has re-emerged as one of the top asset classes of 2024, having risen by 12% year to date and shattered multiple records along the way. It is now well on track for its best year since 2020.

The yellow metal has benefitted from heightened uncertainty in the global economy, namely recession fears and geopolitical risks, which are driving up demand.

The world’s production of gold has also steadily gone up over the last four years, according to the World Gold Council.

Most of gold production comes from a small number of well-established that have been in the mining business for decades. Below, we list the top 10 gold mining companies in the world based on their 2023 (calendar year) production*:

* Production figures are based on company press releases for the full-year ending Dec., 31, 2023, with the exception of Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Company.

1. Newmont

Production: 5.5 million oz.

Gold pour at Newmont’s Ahafo project in Ghana Credit: Newmont

Despite an 8% decline in output from 2022, Newmont (TSX: NGT; NYSE: NEM) remains the top gold producer with 5.5 million oz. across its global operations, which span four continents.

The Denver, Colo.-based company cemented its position as the world’s biggest gold miner last year with its US$17 billion acquisition of Newcrest Mining. The deal gave Newmont a much bigger presence in Australia and Canada, adding two major operations in each country.

Recently, Newmont was named by TIME magazine as the best-performing mining company in terms of decarbonization.

2. Barrick Gold

Production: 4.1 million oz.

Barrick Gold‘s (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) 2023 production of 4.1 million oz. also fell below the previous year’s (-2.1%) and was slightly short of its forecast as well as analyst expectations.

In response to rival Newmont’s big move, Barrick CEO has repeatedly shot down the idea of making any big acquisitions, and instead, the company will focus on organic growth, with expansions being lined up at its operations in the Dominican Republic and Nevada.

The Toronto-based miner is also reportedly close to selling a stake in its other growth project, the Reko Diq in Pakistan, to Saudi Arabia.

3. Agnico Eagle Mines

Production: 3.4 million oz.

In contrast to the ‘Big 2,’ Agnico Eagle Mines‘ (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) production grew nearly 10%. The rise came thanks to its purchase of the remaining stake in Canada’s biggest open-pit gold mine, Canadian Malartic in Quebec, and a full year of production from mines acquired from Kirkland Lake Gold in 2022.

In addition to consolidating its production in Canada, Agnico has also been investing in growth projects in Finland, where it operates Europe’s largest primary gold producer at Kittila.

4. Navoi (NMMC)

Production: 2.9 million oz.

Navoi Muruntau mine Uzbekistan

Navoi Mining gold operation in Uzbekistan. Credit: Navoi

Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Company (NMMC) is the biggest industrial enterprise in Uzbekistan with a rich history of gold production.

While NMMC reports annual production on currency volume, according to information released by S&P Global, its 2023 production totalled 2.9 million oz. — enough to maintain Top 4 producer status.

5. Polyus

Production: 2.9 million oz.

Polyus saw its production rise 14% in 2023 to 2.9 million oz., consisting of 2.5 million oz. in refined gold and the rest in flotation concentrate.

Like many other Russian enterprises, the Moscow-based gold company was hit with Western sanctions last year, forcing it to sell some operations.

6. AngloGold Ashanti

Production: 2.6 million oz.

AngloGold Ashanti‘s (NYSE: AU; LSE: AGD) production fell 3% year-on-year in 2023 due to fewer tonnes of ore processed and lower ore grades. Equipment failure at one of its Ghanaian operations also contributed to the output decline.

In 2024, the Johannesburg-based gold miner is maintaining an output target of 2.8 million oz. despite flooding in Australia.

7. Gold Fields

Production: 2.3 million oz.

Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) once again trailed its South African rival with production of 2.3 million oz. in 2023, down 4% from the year before.

Towards the end of the year, the company sold a 45% stake in the Asanko gold mine in Ghana to joint venture partner Galiano Gold. However, the loss of production there would be offset by its new US$1 billion Salares Norte mine in Chile, which poured its first gold in April after years of delays.

Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti were previously rumored to be in merger talks, but that has now been ruled out after the companies entered a joint venture in Ghana last March.

8. Zijin Mining

Production: 2.2 million oz.

Zijin Mining is coming off a 20% year-on-year gold production growth, positioning itself as the No.1 listed gold mining company in China and among the top 8 globally.

It has been reported that the group is still “actively looking” to bolster its production profile through acquisitions as it had done in the past, but valuations and geopolitics have slowed down that strategy in recent years.

9. Kinross Gold

Production: 2.2 million oz.

Mining operations at Kinross Gold’s Fort Knox open pit gold mine in Alaska. Credit: Kinross Gold

In 2023, Kinross Gold (TSX: K; NYSE: KGC) produced 2.2 million oz. in gold equivalent (including silver converted into gold), nearly 10% higher than in 2022. The Canadian miner is about to add a new source of production, with the Manh Choh project in Alaska targeted for first pour this month.

Last June, Bloomberg reported that Kinross had been the target of a takeover by Endeavour Mining, which predominantly mines gold in West Africa, but the deal to consolidate the mid-sized miners did not materialize.

10. Freeport-McMoran

Production: 2 million oz.

U.S.-based Freeport-McMoran (NYSE: FCX) also enjoyed a near 10% increase in gold production in 2023. The company, which is mostly known for its copper, currently operates the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, one of the largest gold operations in the world.

Notable mention: Solidcore (Polymetal)

Production: 1.7 million oz. (gold equivalent)

Solidcore Resources, formerly known as Polymetal International, kept its gold-equivalent output steady last year with 1.7 million oz. Since coming under U.S. sanctions, the group has been forced to sell a majority of its Russian assets, representing about 70% of its production.

Under its new look, Solidcore is now expected to enter the Middle East market and ramp up investments in its existing operations in Kazakhstan. The aim is to produce 1 million oz. of gold equivalent by 2029.

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