By Gerelyn Terzo - Exclusive to Gold Investing NewsThere appears to be a shortage of asset classes for investors to hide amid a tumultuous ride in the financial markets of late. Gold and cash, however, seem to have risen to the occasion. Even before equities displayed their sensitivity to the Greece crisis and credit yields bottomed, investors had already driven the price of gold to record levels. While commodity performance has mimicked some of the volatility in the stock market in recent weeks, and precious metals continue to compete with cash as a safe haven from the unruly markets, many expect gold's run is far from over. Mining companies stand to benefit from the projected rise in prices, including businesses positioned among China's rich, yet uncertain, resources. The profit opportunity does not come without serious challenges, however, as the hunt for high-grade gold deposits intensifies. Challenges of mining in China Stagnant production coupled with some financing and political headwinds prevent mining activity from reaching what appears to be greater potential for a country whose gold production rivals South Africa. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the available resources in the Eastern nation, gold production appears to have risen since China loosened its government control and began allowing private and international participation at the turn of the century, according to consulting firm Thomson Reuters GFMS. Indeed, China has led the world in gold production over the past several years, Paul Burton, senior equities analyst at Thomson Reuters GFMS, tells Gold Investing News. The origin of much of that activity, however, remains unclear. “Although gold output has increased through a large, growing population of relatively small operating mines and modern mines opened by Canadian companies, much of China's gold production derives as a by-product from its base metal smelters, which feed the country's huge demand for copper for infrastructure projects," said Burton.