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Emerging global superpower China, which has established itself as the world's second largest gold producer after seven years of strong, continued growth, looks set to become the new world leader, especially if gold production in South Africa continues to decline.
This is the view of precious metals consultancy GFMS, which said China recently made production announcements at three notable operations.
These operations were expected to ramp up through the rest of this year, adding to China's production profile. GFMS said China posted strong growth in gold mine production year-on-year to total 129 tons for the first half of this year.
Increases in Asian gold production, particularly the growth in Chinese production by nearly 20 tons and an 83percent increase in Indonesian output, helped the industry post a 3percent rise in mine production to 1201tons in the first half of this year.
But lower production out of Africa and Latin America weakened the rise seen in Asia.
Latin American producers trimmed almost 25 tons off first-half gold output compared to 2006 and South African gold production was 7percent lower. South Africa, which comprised about 66percent of world production in the 1970s, produced 275 tons last year.
This reflected a 7,5percent year-on-year reduction and the lowest output since 1922.
The country's gold production profile was also not likely to grow as many producing mines were reaching maturity. - I-Net Bridge