What were the 10 top gold-mining companies of 2019? Newmont, Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti were the three biggest.
Regardless of how the gold price is doing in any given year, there will always be top gold-mining companies looking to unearth the yellow metal.
Stimulated by increasing global debt, geopolitical turmoil and fears of economic collapse, the price of gold climbed an impressive 15 percent in 2019.
In 2020, the gold market may be one of the few sectors that’s faring well under the global COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, as the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise in Q2, gold hit its highest price level since 2011, surpassing US$1,800 per ounce in early July.
According to the most recent US Geological Survey data, gold production decreased by approximately 11 percent in 2018, and output levels remained unchanged in 2019. China, Australia and Russia were the top three countries to produce gold last year.
But what are the top gold-mining companies? The list below was put together by the GFMS team at Refinitiv, and it shows which miners produced the most gold in 2019. Read on to learn about them.
1. Newmont (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM)
Production: 195.7 tonnes
Newmont was the largest of the top gold-mining companies in 2019. The firm holds significant operations in North and South America, as well as Asia, Australia and Africa. Newmont produced 195.7 tonnes of gold in 2019, up nearly 40 tonnes from the year before.
In early 2019, the miner acquired Goldcorp in a US$10 billion deal; it followed that up with a joint venture with Barrick Gold called Nevada Gold Mines. The venture is located in Nevada, and according to the gold companies’ collaborative press release, it is the world’s biggest gold complex. Nevada Gold Mines is 61.5 percent owned and operated by Barrick and 38.5 percent owned by Newmont.
Newmont’s attributable gold production is expected to be 6 million ounces (or 186.6 tonnes) in 2020.
2. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD)
Production: 170 tonnes
Barrick Gold lands in second place on this list of top gold producers in the mining industry. Its gold production level for 2019 increased by nearly 30 tonnes from the previous year. In addition to merging its Nevada assets with Newmont last year, the company closed its acquisition of Randgold Resources.
The Nevada Gold Mines venture is comprised of 10 underground and 12 open-pit mines, two autoclave facilities, two roasting facilities, four oxide mills, a flotation plant and five heap leach facilities. In its first year, the venture “not only met the production and cost targets set out at the start of the joint venture, but did so despite the past few months of stress experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In its annual 2019 report, Barrick said that its full-year gold production of 5.5 million ounces exceeded guidance and was up 21 percent of the previous year’s production level. The company’s 10 year production plan is based on production guidance of around 5 million ounces of gold per year.
3. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG,NYSE:AU)
Production: 102.1 tonnes
Coming in third on this top gold-mining companies list is AngloGold Ashanti, which produced 102.1 tonnes of gold in 2019. That represents a small decrease from the 106.1 tonnes it produced in 2018. 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 make the decision to set it on a course of redevelopment with the hope of achieving commercial production in 2021.
4. Polyus (OTC Pink:OPYGY,MCX:PLZL)
Production: 88.4 tonnes
Polyus produced 88.4 tonnes of gold in 2019, rising from seventh place to fourth place among the 10 top gold-mining companies. It is the largest gold producer in Russia and holds over 61 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves. Its main operations are located in Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, including five mines, alluvial operations and several advanced development projects.
The company expects to produce approximately 2.8 million ounces (or 87 tonnes) of gold in 2020.
5. Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC)
Production: 78 tonnes
Kinross Gold has projects in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania, Russia and the US. In 2019, the company produced 78 tonnes of gold — nearly on par with its production in 2018.
In 2019, Kinross achieved its eighth consecutive year of meeting or exceeding production and cost guidance. For 2020, the company has withdrawn its full-year production guidance in light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on mining operations.
6. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM,OTC Pink:NCMGF)
Production: 73 tonnes
Newcrest Mining produced 73 tonnes of gold in 2019, down slightly from the 76.4 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 in the world. With an estimated 52 million ounces of gold ore reserves, its reserve life is approximately 27 years. For the year, the company expects to produce 2.1 million to 2.2 million ounces (or 65.3 tonnes to 68.4 tonnes) of gold.
7. Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI)
Production: 68.4 tonnes
Gold Fields comes in at number seven for 2019, despite not even making an appearance on 2018’s list. The company is a globally diversified gold producer with eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa. In 2019, the company produced 68.4 tonnes of the metal, a slight increase from the 63.3 tonnes it produced in 2018.
Gold Field’s Gruyere mine is expected to have its first full year of production in 2020. The company’s production guidance for 2020 is in the range of 2.275 million to 2.315 million ounces (or 70.7 tonnes to 72 tonnes) of gold equivalent ounces.
8. Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM,TSX:AEM)
Production: 55.4 tonnes
Agnico Eagle Mines produced 55.4 tonnes of gold in 2019 to take the eighth spot on this10 top gold companies list. The company has eight gold mines in Canada, Finland and Mexico, including 50 percent ownership of the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec.
The Canadian gold miner is on track to reach an annual production level of 2 million ounces per year by 2021 as part of a decade-long growth streak, as predicted by CFO David Smith. Gold production for 2020 is expected to be 1.63 million to 1.73 million ounces (or 50.1 tonnes to 53.2 tonnes). Agnico Eagle’s original guidance for the year was reduced due to COVID-19.
9. Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY)
Production: 43 tonnes
New to the list of largest gold-mining companies is Harmony Gold, the third largest gold-mining company in South Africa. In its home country, Harmony has nine underground mines in the Witwatersrand Basin, one open-pit mine in the Kraaipan Greenstone Belt and several surface operations. In addition, Harmony Gold operates the Hidden Valley open-pit gold and silver mine in Papua New Guinea, where it also holds a 50 percent stake in the Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project, a joint venture with Newcrest Mining.
In mid-2020, Harmony Gold raised US$200 million from a planned share placement to partially fund its acquisition of AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in South Africa. The acquisition is expected to raise the company’s gold production by about 350,000 ounces per year to more than 1.8 million ounces.
10. Polymetal International (LSE:POLY)
Production: 41.3 tonnes
Finally, Polymetal International made it onto this list of top gold-mining companies with gold production of 41.3 tonnes. The miner has a portfolio of nine producing gold and silver assets in Russia and Kazakhstan. Polymetal is the second largest producer of gold in Russia and also ranks among the world’s top silver-producing companies.
Polymetal’s 2020 production guidance stands at 1.6 million ounces (or 49.7 tonnes) for the year.
Want more details? Check out these articles for more INNdepth coverage:
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- Largest Producers of Gold by Country
- 7 Expert Tips Mining Investors Need to Follow
- VIDEO — 5 Mining Trends You Might be Missing
- Best Gold Stocks of 2020 on the TSX
Want and overview of investing in gold stocks? Check out An Overview of Gold Stocks and Price.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.