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China may become top 2007 gold producer
Sunday Dec 2 17:15 AEDT

China could usurp South Africa and claim the number one gold producer spot in 2007, with the price of the yellow metal remaining strong.

Mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty Ltd said that while China's gold output was marginally behind South Africa, the Asian nation could potentially take out the title for the 2007 calendar year.

"It looks like China could overtake South Africa to become the world's number one producer for 2007," Surbiton Associates director Dr Sandra Close said.

"Australia will probably take third place, followed by the United States."

South Africa produced 192.8 tonnes of gold during the nine months to September 30, with China trailing on 191.5 tonnes, while Australia's output came in at 184.5 tonnes.

Meanwhile, Dr Close said the Australian gold price reached an all time closing high of $A939 per ounce on November 26.

"This occurred due to a combination of a higher US dollar gold price and a lower Australian dollar exchange rate."

Australian mines produced 61.7 tonnes or two million ounces of gold during the three months to September 30, according to Surbiton.

China may become top 2007 gold producer

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