Gold is unique in a variety of ways. If we set aside its elemental properties like conduction, purity, and density, and only look at it from its perspective as an investment or as a material, it still very diverse. It is also very rare. It’s scarcity on the surface of the Earth, has driven miners to seek it from the depth of geology for thousands of years.
Yet each year on an estimated 1.5% of gold comes from newly mined sources. At a price that often exceeds over $1,000 US dollars per ounce, it makes gold still very valuable, as well as potentially liquid.
This drives some savvy investors to look at other ways to improve their return on gold-related investments. One of the increasingly popular options is to invest in large gold mining companies, through global stock markets. Finding the right one can involve a variety of factors.
The Top Ten Gold Mining Companies
Goldcorp Inc. is headquartered in Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Each year they employ nearly 16,000 people across the globe. The scope extends beyond gold mining to also include related areas such as gold exploration, and extraction as well as gold processing and even gold reclamation.
Goldcorp has a significant number of operating assets around the world including four mines in Canada, as well as two mines in Mexico, and another four in Central and South America.
Corporate Knights Magazine named Goldcorp one of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada, in 2016. That same year Goldcorp was also ranked among Canada’s Top 100 Employers. It’s also worth noting that it has been frequently accused of harming the environment, as well as endangering livestock, and public health. Yet the company refutes these allegations and notes that none of them have been proven in a court of law.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Also a Canadian company, Barrick Gold holds the distinction of being the largest gold mining company in the world. It is headquartered out of Toronto, Canada. The company has a wide range of mining operations in Canada as well as around the globe. They reportedly have active mining operations in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea, and Zambia as well as operations in the United States.
Despite their broad geographical reach, it is still estimated that more than 75% of Barrick’s gold production originates in the Americas. Yet these other operations seem to note that they are constantly looking for new potential sources of unknown or previously untapped gold deposits.
Newmont Mining Corporation
They are an American based company headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company can trace its roots to the diversified William Boyce Thompson holding company which was established in 1916 and later Incorporated in 1921.
Newmont Mining Corporation is known to have active gold mining operations in Nevada, Australia, Ghana, and Peru, as well as Suriname. Their holdings also include Franco-Nevada Corp, Santa Fe Gold, Battle Mountain Gold, Normandy Mining, and Frontier Gold. There are also several joint venture relationships associated with Newmont Mining Corporation including copper and silver mines.
Each year they employ roughly 24,000 workers worldwide, as well as a variety of outside and contractors. They hold the unique distinction of being the only gold company that is listed in the S&P 500.
Polyus Gold’s headquarters are in Moscow and they are the largest gold producer in Russia. On a global level, they are also one of the top 10 gold mining companies based on output. Polyus Gold’s primary assets are located in Eastern Siberia as well as the Russian Far East. They are known to have active operations in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, Magadan Oblast and the Republic of Sakha.
They are listed on both the Moscow and London Stock Exchanges. Currently, they are not available through any US stock exchanges.
Newcrest Mining Limited
They are a corporation based out of Australia. They actively engage in the exploration, and gold mine development, as well as the sale of gold. Newcrest also sells gold-copper concentrate. They are Australia’s top gold mining company.
Newcrest’s gold and copper operations in Australia are primarily based at Ridgeway-Cadia Valley. They also have a secondary Australian operation known as the Telfer Mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
In recent years they have expanded onto the international mining scene with operations throughout parts of Indonesia. Newcrest also has two mines located Papua New Guinea. They have past and present exploration in both North and South America, as well as Asia and Europe.
Yamana Gold Inc.
They are another Canadian gold producer. However, they are a relative newcomer on the international mining scene, having only started operations in 2003. They have a significant number of gold productions, gold development stage properties, and exploration properties. This includes land positions in Canada, as well as in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.
Yamana Gold Inc. has also purchased several mining properties from other gold companies including Viceroy, Desert Sun, RNC Gold, and Northern Orion as well as Meridian Gold. Their active portfolio includes operations in Chapada, El Peñón, Canadian Malartic, Jacobina, and Minera Florida. They also have the Cerro Moro mine which began operations in 2018.
Kinross Gold Corporation
Another Canadian mining company that specializes in gold as well as silver mining. Kinross Gold Corp. was founded in 1993. They are currently headquartered out of Toronto, Canada.
Kinross has eight active gold mining operations, and InvestNews ranked then number 4 in the list of 10 Top Gold-mining Companies in 2017. They also have active mining and exploration sites located in Brazil, Ghana, Mauritania, and Russia as well as the United States.
Investors who are interested in Kinross can find them in the New York Stock Exchange as KGC they are also in the Toronto Stock Exchange under K.
AngloGold Ashanti Limited
They are a global gold mining company. That was created in 2004 when AngloGold and the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation merged. They now have 21 operations spanning four continents. In 2008, AngloGold Ashanti Limited reportedly produced nearly 5-million ounces of gold from its various operations. This amount is estimated to be right around seven percent of the global gold production for that year.
AngloGold Ashanti Limited is listed on the New York, Johannesburg, Accra, London, and Australian stock exchanges, as well as the Paris and Brussels bourses.
Gold Fields Limited
They are headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gold Fields Limited is one of the world’s largest gold mining firms. Originally formed in 1998 they have an amalgamation of the gold assets in South Africa. They also have active mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia, and Peru.
Their current operations focus on growth efforts in the regions where it currently operates, as well as through brownfields exploration on its existing land positions. This includes lands acquired through mergers in the same regions.
They are listed on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange as JSE.
Eldorado Gold Corporation
They are a mid-cap Canadian gold mining company with active assets in Canada as well as internationally in Turkey, Greece, Romania, Brazil, and Serbia. Eldorado Gold Corporation also engages in exploration, development, production, and reclamation in addition to its active mining efforts.
They are headquartered in Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. They are estimated to have around 5,000 employees worldwide, spanning five countries. Eldorado Gold Corporation operates as a decentralized business. This means that the majority of their managers and employees are nationals of the country of operations.
It’s also worth noting that Eldorado has stated that they are dedicated to responsible operations, which includes the highest safety and environmental standards. They also strive to work with stakeholders to enhance the communities surrounding their various operations. This makes them perhaps one of the most “Feel Good” gold mining investments.
Eldorado is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ELD. On the New York Stock Exchange, they are traded as EGO.
South Africa Gold Production
There is also a trend worth bearing in mind when it comes to South African Gold Production. In 2007 South Africa was ranked as the world’s number one gold producer. However, that number has dropped to 5th in recent years. This has brought some to suspect that South Africa is experiencing a depletion in resources.
Yet it is in fact due to high production costs. Should production costs improve in the near future, South African mining companies like AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Gold Fields, and Harmony Gold could see rapid increases in their production and overall investment value.
Keep An Eye On the Forbes Global 2000
This is a list generated each year by Forbes. The Forbes Global 2000 compiles information on each of the 2000 largest companies around the world. It then ranks them according to various factors. The list often includes major international gold companies.
Many of the companies that are high on the Forbes Global 2000 list aren’t necessarily the largest. There are often various factors afoot. So, if you see a gold mining company appear or even disappear from the list, you shouldn’t see it as a sign of immediate success or failure. Yet you should take it as an indicator that more research is needed into why their ranking changed so significantly.