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Largest gold mining companies

Which are the largest gold mining companies in the world? This may appear a straightforward enquiry, but there isn’t a definitive answer. This is because there is more than one way to measure the size of a mining company. Figures can also be hard to find sometimes as companies wish to protect sensitive data, or have a delay.

The total weight of any and all metal output is one of the common ways of ranking mining companies. Some measures count only a company’s pure gold production however.

The majority of gold mining companies do not mine just gold however; instead they mine various precious metals and/or base metals, which include gold. That is why in most cases it is more accurate to count the total production for the mine. Some statistics also include the value of all metals produced as equivalents in ounces of gold.

Gold mining underground.

The size of a gold mining company could also be measured by the total financial value of the company. This includes all its assets, such as estimated underground gold reserves, land ownership, plant equipment, and shares on the stock market. This measure increases the value of companies operating in more expensive locations, where labour and land values are greater.

Lastly, the largest gold mining companies may also be measured in terms of the company’s possible sale value. This would consider the gold price, the company's debts, overheads and potential profitability, offset against its total value as listed above.

Largest gold mining company in the world?

Barrick is often considered the largest gold mining company in the world. Originally called Barrick Gold, the company recently merged with Randgold Resources. Traded on both the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges, Barrick has a market capitalisation of $23.75 billion, and operates in 15 countries.

As we explain below though, while they may be the largest company, they are not the biggest producer of gold...

Top 10 gold mining companies

In the various methods used to assess the size of gold mining companies, five companies consistently appear in the top 10. Figures released as of Q2 2021 put the following as the top 10 gold mining companies:

Newmont Goldcorp company logo.

  1. Newmont Goldcorp

The US company has mines in Nevada, Colorado, Ontario, Quebec, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Ghana, Argentina, Peru, and Suriname. By many measures it was the world’s largest gold mining company in 2018. In that year it produced 158.7 tonnes of gold , and expects this to have risen to 184.2 tonnes in 2019. In early 2019 it merged with the Canadian Goldcorp Company, which was also one of the 10 largest gold mining companies in 2018.

  1. Barrick Gold

The Canadian-owned company mines in Nevada, and produced 140.8 tonnes of gold in 2018. As mentioned above, it also can lay claim to be the world’s largest gold mining company, based on certain measuring techniques.

  1. Polyus

Polyus are a Russian gold miner based in Moscow. They are the largest in Russia, and have been quickly moving up the ranks in recent years to take the third spot in 2021.

  1. AngloGold Ashanti

Operating out of South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti have operations around the world, but have slipped to the fourth spot in 2021 behind Polyus.

  1. Gold Fields

Also based out of South Africa, Gold Fields also mine in Australia and Peru, and have seen good output in 2021 following restrictions in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The remaining five companies were Newcrest, Kinross, Agnico Eagle, Northern Star, and Harmony Gold.

The world’s largest gold mining companies do not necessarily correlate to the biggest gold mines. Mine size is usually measured in tonnes of gold produced, but can also rely on the grade of the gold (quality) found there. In an increasingly global world, many mining companies operate across the globe. Some companies will also find it much more cost-effective to remain at a gold mine nearing depletion, than to explore and open new gold mines.