By the end of 2014, man had exploited 183,600 tons of gold. About 50% of global gold consumption is used for jewelry, 40% for investment and 10% for industry.
In 2016, China produced 453.486 tons of gold, remaining the world’s largest gold producer for 10 consecutive years, increasing by 3.434 tons compared to 2015 and up by 0.76% YOY. The production of mineral gold was 394.883 tons and that of the non-ferrous metal was 58.603 tons. Finished gold products and mineral gold, produced by large-scale gold enterprises such as China Gold, Zijin Mining Group, Shandong Gold and Shandong Zhaojin Group, account for 49.85% and 40.05% of the total production volume, respectively.
In 2016, China’s gold consumption was 975.38 tons, down by 6.74% YOY compared to 2015 and remained as the world’s largest gold consumer for 4 years. gold jewelry consumed 611.17 tons, down by 18.91% YOY; gold bar used 257.64 tons, up by 28.19% YOY; gold coins consumed 31.19 tons, up by 36.80% YOY; gold for industrial or other usages took up 75.38 tons, up by 10.14% YOY. Although the consumption of gold jewelry is weak generally and declined sharply, the investment of physical gold still performs well. The consumption of gold bar and gold coins grew dramatically, up by nearly 30% in total.
Gold combines the attributes of commodity and finance. Therefore, its demand can be classified into three categories, one for gold jewelry, one for physical gold investment and another for industrial demand. With the development of gold market in China, the market function and the investment varieties become increasingly diversified. Additionally, the demand structure of gold investment is more complex.
By the end of 2016, there had been 726 gold mines in China, 330 of which are key mines above designated size with mining and dressing scale of 400,000 tons/day. The general gold production capacity of gold industry was 400 tons/year. The byproduct gold production capacity of non-ferrous smelt enterprise was 85 tons/day.