Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg copper-gold complex in the Indonesian province of Papua produced nearly 2.7 million ounces of gold in 2018. The original deposit was discovered in 1936 by a Dutch geologist who called it Ertsberg or “ore mountain”. The mine, which provides work for 30,000 people, is located 4,100m above sea level near Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Papua. Production of gold hit a peak in 2001 above 3.5m ounces.
The Muruntau mining complex, located in Uzbekistan and consisting of open-pit mine and heap leach operations, is estimated to have produced about 2.4 million ounces of gold in 2018. Operated by state-owned Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat, the mine is more than 3.3km long, 2.5km wide nearly 600m deep. Considering the stunning resource base, estimated in excess of 150m ounces, Muruntau will likely regain and keep its ranking as world’s biggest gold mine.
The Goldstrike gold mining complex is in Eureka County in north-eastern Nevada and forms part of the newly-created Barrick-Newmont JV in the US state. The mine consists of both open pit and underground operations. It is located on the Carlin Trend, a prolific gold-since Barrick acquired Goldstrike in 1986 it has produced 42m ounces of gold. In 2018, Goldstrike (which includes output from the Cortez mine) produced just under 2.1 million ounces of gold.
Located in one of Russia’s most prolific gold mining provinces, Olimpiada is Polyus’ largest operation. The mine began production in 1996 and currently accounts for over a half 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. Olimpiada produced over 1.3 million ounces of gold in 2018, a 12% increase over the prior year.
Newcrest’s Lihir operation on Aniolam Island in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea is 900 kilometres north-east of the capital Port Moresby. The gold deposit at Lihir is within the Luise Caldera, an extinct volcanic crater that is geothermally active. The Lihir mine produced 976,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 6% improvement over 2017.
6. Pueblo Viejo
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 Goldcorp (40%) The Pueblo Viejo mine produced 969,000 ounces of gold in 2018, losing its status as a 1moz+ annual producer.
Newmont Goldcorp’s four mine sites in Nevada include integrated operations at Carlin, 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 produced 927,000 ounces of gold in 2018, down nearly 5% year on year.
Kibali mine in Democratic Republic of Congo is situated adjacent to the town of Doko and 210km from Arua on the Ugandan border. Kibali is co-owned by AngloGold Ashanti (45%), Barrick Gold Corporation (45%) following its merger with Randgold Resources, and Société Minière de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO) (10%), a state-owned gold mining company. Kibali produced 807,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 35% jump over 2017.
9. Cadia East
Cadia Valley operation in New South Wales was Australia’s top producing mine last year, dethroning Newmont Goldcorp’s Boddington operation in Western Australia and helping to push the storied Kalgoorlie Super Pit out of the top 10. Cadia East underground panel cave mine commenced commercial production in January 2013. Cadia East mine in the Cadia valley produced 752,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a stunning 52% more than last year.
Newmont Goldcorp’s Boddington mine is located within the Saddleback greenstone belt in Western Australia. Boddington is located 120 km southeast of Perth. Boddington was a three-way joint venture between Newmont Goldcorp, AngloGold Ashanti and Newcrest. In 2009, Newmont Goldcorp purchased AngloGold Ashanti’s shares to become the sole owner. Boddington produced 709,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 10% year on year decline.