Here’s an overview of the 10 top gold mining companies of 2018. Newmont Goldcorp, Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti hold the top spots.
Regardless of how the gold price is doing in any given year, there will always be gold mining companies looking to unearth the yellow metal.
2018 was a relatively lackluster year for the gold market thanks to a steady US dollar. The downturn saw many investors losing interest in the gold space, as gold prices declined almost 5 percent, despite ongoing geopolitical concerns.
But what are the top gold mining companies of 2019? The race isn’t over quite yet, but we do have the winners from last year and that’s a good place to start.
The list order below was put together by Thomson Reuters GFMS, and it shows which companies produced the most gold in 2018. Read on to learn about each of them.
1. Newmont Goldcorp (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM)
Production: 158.7 tonnes
Newmont Goldcorp took the top spot of the largest gold mining companies list in 2018, with its significant operations in North and South America, as well as Asia, Australia and Africa. Newmont produced 158.7 tonnes of gold in 2018, just down slightly from the year before.
In early 2019, the miner acquired Goldcorp in a US$10 billion deal, followed by a joint venture with Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) in July called Nevada Gold Mines. The venture is located in Nevada, and according to the gold companies’ collaborative press release, resulted in the creation of the world’s greatest gold complex. Nevada Gold mines is 61.5 percent owned and operated by Barrick and 38.5 percent owned by Newmont Goldcorp.
The miner’s attributable gold production is expected to be 6.5 million ounces in 2019.
2. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD)
Production: 140.8 tonnes
Barrick Gold dipped down from the top spot in 2017 to land in second place of top gold producers within the mining industry. Although production was down last year, 2018 and 2019 have seen large steps forward for the gold producer. In addition to merging its Nevada assets with Newmont Goldcorp on July 1, the company acquired Randgold Resources in September of 2018.
The Nevada Gold Mines venture comprises 10 underground and 12 open pit mines, two autoclave facilities, two roasting facilities, four oxide mills, a flotation plant and five heap leach facilities. Nevada production is expected to be 1.5 million ounces in 2019.
The company said in February that its 2018 full-year gold production of 4.53 million ounces was within guidance. At the end of Q1 2019, the miner announced that output was up 8 percent and fell in line with guidance.
3. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG,NYSE:AU,OTC Pink:AULGF)
Production: 106.1 tonnes
Coming in third on this top gold mining companies list is AngloGold Ashanti, which produced 106.1 tonnes of gold in 2018. That represents a small decrease from the 116.8 tonnes it produced in 2017. The South African company has 17 gold operations in nine countries, as well as numerous exploration projects around the world.
Although its Obuasi mine in Ghana was placed on care and maintenance in 2014, 2018 saw the gold producer making the decision to set it on a course of redevelopment with the hopes to achieve commercial production once again.
4. Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC)
Production: 77 tonnes
Kinross Gold has projects in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania, Russia and the US. In 2018, the company produced 77 tonnes of gold — down from the 83.9 tonnes it produced in 2017.
Last year, the company achieved its seventh consecutive year of meeting or exceeding production and cost guidance. In February, the company noted that it expects a strong 2019, with an outlook forecasting production of 2.5 million gold equivalent ounces and costs in line with 2018.
5. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM,OTC Pink:NCMGF)
Production: 76.4 tonnes
Newcrest Mining produced 76.4 tonnes of gold in 2018, up from the 71.1 tonnes it produced the previous year. The Australian company operates mines in four countries.
According to Newcrest, it has one of the largest group gold ore reserves of any company in the world. With an estimated 69 million ounces of gold ore reserves, its reserve life is approximately 27 years. At the beginning of 2019, the miner reported that it saw record quarterly gold production of 239,000 ounces at its Cadia gold-copper operation in New South Wales during the December 2018 quarter.
In addition to breaking records at Cadia, the major miner also reported quarterly growth at its Telfer, Lihir and Gosowong assets, helping Newcrest attain a 19 percent boost in gold production — reaching just less than 655,000 ounces — in the September 2018 quarter.
6. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)
Production: 75.9 tonnes
Freeport came in at number 6 for 2018, despite not even making an appearance on 2017’s list. Although the precious metals miner is known as one of the largest copper producers, it should also be of interest to investors looking into adding gold stocks into their portfolios. This is because its power comes from not only its copper but also its significant gold reserves, thanks to its majority ownership of the Grasberg mining district, which is the world’s largest gold mine by production.
In addition to garnering 75.9 tonnes of the precious metal last year, the company also noted that it managed to produce 326,000 ounces of the yellow metal in the first six months of 2019.
7. Polyus Gold International (LSE:PGIL)
Production: 75.9 tonnes
Polyus Gold International produced 75.9 tonnes of gold in 2018 to tie with Freeport in sixth place of top 10 gold companies. The company is the largest gold producer in Russia and holds over 68 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves. Its principal operations are located in Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East; those include five operating mines, alluvial operations and several advanced development projects.
The firm said in August that it produced 684,000 ounces of gold in Q2 2019 — a 14 percent quarter-on-quarter increase from Q1 2019.
Production: 71.4 tonnes
Next on this list of last year’s largest gold mining companies is Goldcorp, whose gold production decreased again, going from 79.9 tonnes in 2017 to 71.4 tonnes in 2018.
While Goldcorp was acquired by Newmont in January of this year, in 2018 the miner was known for being one of the world’s fastest-growing senior gold producers, and operated four mines in Canada, three in Mexico and four in Central and South America.
Goldcorp’s 2018 gold production was relatively on par with 2017’s output of 2.5 million ounces, and in Q3 2018 alone, the miner managed production of 503,000 ounces of the yellow metal at all-in sustaining costs of US$999 per ounce.
9. Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI,JSE:GFI)
Production: 63.3 tonnes
Gold Fields is a globally diversified gold producer with eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa. In 2018, the company produced 63.3 tonnes of the metal, a slight increase from the 62.6 tonnes it produced in 2017.
In early August, the miner announced that its gold equivalent production for the first six months of 2019 increased by 9 percent year-on-year to 1,083 ounces, mainly due to the inclusion of the contribution from Asanko Gold in H1 2019.
10. Randgold Resources
Production: 55.1 tonnes
Finally, Randgold Resources made it onto this list of top gold mining companies with gold production of 55.1 tonnes, an increase from its 2017 output of 52.3 tonnes.
Much like Goldcorp, Randgold was acquired by Barrick in September of last year, after coming off of a year that saw the miner produce 1.315 million ounces of gold.
This time last year, Randgold reported that it was able to produce 313,302 ounces of gold in Q2, up from the 286,890 ounces achieved in the previous quarter. Its profit from mining rose to US$190.6 million, allowing the company to maintain its 2018 targets.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.