World's Top 10 Biggest Gold Mines

Gold is one of the most valuable substances in the world with a significant impact on the world's economy today. As a result, gold mining has become a huge venture with operations all over the world, ranging from open-pit to underground procedures. This article covers some of the biggest gold mines that can be found around the world.

The 10 biggest gold mines in the world are

1. Grasberg Gold Mine


Discovered in 1988, the Grasberg gold mine is located in the Papua province of Indonesia. The gold mine has produced an impressive figure of more than 50 million ounces of gold and over 30 billion pounds of copper to date, making it the largest gold and copper mine in the world. The Grasberg minerals district is made up of one open-pit mine and four underground mines, providing work for more than 30,000 workers.

2. Muruntau Gold Mine

The Muruntau mine is located in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan. Measuring more than 3.3km long and 0.6km deep with plans to increase the depth to over a kilometre, this gold mine is one of the deepest open-pit mines in the world. The Muruntau mine produces approximately 2 million ounces of gold every year and has been in operation since 1967.

3. Olimpiada Gold Mine


Located in the Krasnoyarsk region of Eastern Siberia, Russia, the Olimpiada gold mine is Russia's biggest gold mine and makes the list as one of the biggest gold mines in the world. The mine is owned by the world's fourth-largest gold producer, Polyus. The gold production of Olimpiada accounts for over half of the company's gold output, producing over one million ounces of gold per year.

4. Pueblo Viejo Gold Mine

The Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic is located 100km northwest of the capital city, Santo Domingo. The mine produced close to one million ounces of gold in 2019, which was a significant increase from the 600,000 ounces of gold uncovered in 2018. Ownership of the mine is between Barrick Gold who owns 60% and Newmont Goldcorp who owns the other 40%.

5. Cortez Gold Mine


The Cortez gold mine is located in Nevada, USA and began operations in 1969. The mine contains three deposits - Pipeline and South Pipeline, both of which are open-pit mines, along with Cortez Hills which has both open-pit and underground mining operations. The Cortez gold mine produced over 950,000 ounces of gold in 2019, making it the fifth biggest gold mine to date.

6. Lihir Gold Mine

The Lihir gold mine is located on the island of Lihir in Papua New Guinea, within the province of New Ireland. The gold deposit is located on a geothermally active and extinct volcanic crater that has been in operation since 1997. The Lihir gold mine has produced over 800,000 ounces of gold in 2019, providing work for more than 4500 employees where 90% are locals from Papua New Guinea.

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7. Carlin Trend Gold Mine

Located in Nevada, USA, the Carlin Trend gold mine consists of a series of gold deposits that stretch over 60km in length and 8km in width. There are a number of open-pit mines including the Carlin, Emigrant, Gold Quarry and Silverstar pits, as well as four underground mines known as the Carlin East, Deep Post, Chukar and Leeville. The operations of underground mining began in 1944, while open-pit mining didn't begin until 1965. These have led to the production of over 70 million ounces of gold to date.

8. Kibali Gold Mine


The Kibali gold mine is located close to the town of Doko in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kibali is an open-pit and underground mine which produced over 800,000 ounces of gold in 2018 and 2019. This mine is known for being one of the most highly automated underground mines, implementing truck and drill training simulators, safety tracking and ventilation demand control for the working staff.

9. Cadia East Gold Mine

The Cadia East gold mine is located within Cadia Valley in New South Wales, Australia. This mine produced over 800,000 ounces of gold in 2019. This broke the record previously held by Western Australia's Boddington gold mine, making the Cadia East gold mine the biggest underground gold mine in Australia. The beginning of commercial production in 1999 led to the discovery of over 8 million ounces of gold to date.

10. Boddington Gold Mine


The Boddington gold mine, located in Western Australia, was the largest gold mine in Australia up until 2019 when the Cadia East gold mine stole the title away. The Boddington mine began open-pit operations back in 1987 but underwent maintenance in 2001, before reopening in 2010. The mine currently produces around 700,000 ounces of gold per year.

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(Image sources: Financial Times, Orange Smile, Barrick Gold)