The Pandemic has Reduced Gold Production by 5%
The 20 leading world gold miners reduce their production by 5% at the end of 2020. It results from the impact of the closure of mines and suspension of operations caused by the pandemic. For 2021, estimates point to a recovery in production, which will be 6% higher than this year.
The gold mining industry has faced an unprecedented challenge in 2020. Mines closed and suspended their activity in certain regions. It has caused a significant drop in production in some of them.
According to a Kitco report, the drop in production has been especially relevant in North America, South America, and Africa.
Canada produced a total of 1.16 million ounces of gold (36 MT) in the second quarter of 2020. It was 22% lower than the 1,482 million ounces (46.1 MT) mined in the same quarter of 2019.
The drop in production was very significant in the Quebec region, which mined 32% less gold in the second quarter. Meanwhile, in Ontario, the figure was 17% lower than in the same period in 2019.
According to Kitco, the main factor that explains this drop in production was the suspension of activity in some mines. The Canadian government imposed some restrictions to control the pandemic.
The Kitco report relies on three variables to assess the pandemic’s impact on the production of gold mining companies. It estimated gold production before the pandemic and after the pandemic. Also, the world’s 20 largest gold mining companies made forecasts for 2021.
According to these estimates, the 20 largest gold miners expected to mine a total of 39.118 million ounces of gold (1,216.7 MT) in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted their plans.
The 20 largest miners expect to extract 6% more gold in 2021
Once the restrictions were lifted, most affected mining companies were forced to review their production estimates for 2020. It brought the total expected figure for this year to 37.291 million ounces (1,159.9 tons).
Taking the average figure of these estimates, the 20 largest world gold miners have estimated the production losses derived from the measures required to control the pandemic at 5%.
Not everything is negative. Many mining companies have registered record production figures in the third quarter of the year. It has partially offset the losses suffered during the previous quarter.
Looking ahead to 2021, the 20 largest miners expect to extract 39.381 million ounces of gold (1,224.9 MT). This figure is 6% higher than the revised production estimate for 2020 after the pandemic.
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