In 2014, global gold production increased by 2 percent from the previous year, according to a January 2015 US Geological Survey (USGS) report.
While China kept its place as the world's single-largest producer of gold, it was certainly not the only country to contribute to last year's growth. Production increases took place in that country, as well as several others, including Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Russia. This swelling of production outweighed some of the dips that other countries experienced, such as Peru, Tanzania, South Africa and the US.
Here are the world's top gold-producing countries from 2014, as reported by the USGS.
Mine production: 450 metric tons
China's gold output continues to grow, and the country kept the
top spot for the eighth year in a row
, Reuters reported. Last year, China's production grew over 5 percent, hitting about 450 metric tons.
In addition to being the largest producer by a significant margin, China is also the world's biggest consumer of gold, with consumption reaching approximately 886 metric tons in 2014. Though that's a considerable number, it's actually down 24.7 percent from 2013. "Although 2014 gold consumption fell by a large margin, the (longer-term) trend of increasing demand has not changed," the China Gold Association noted.
Mine production: 270 metric tons
Australia's growth in gold production for 2014 put the country in the number-two spot for the year, reaching approximately 270 metric tons. That represents an increase from the 2013 level and is the highest production rate by the country since 2003. While growth was strong all year, production reached a high of 73 metric tons for the fourth quarter.
However, the Australian dollar exchange rate declined 25 percent over the course of the year, while the gold price fell about 37 percent in US dollars. As a result, many producers mined their richest deposits to maintain a profit in a practice known as "high grading."