The direct economic impact of gold

It is the first time that the available evidence on the contribution of gold has been collated and as such, our independent report, commissioned by the World Gold Council, provides a baseline assessment of gold’s direct economic contribution.

Key findings include: 

  • Global gold supply reached 4,477 tonnes in 2012 with approximately two thirds coming from mining and one third from the recycling of gold.
  • The 15 largest gold producing countries, which accounted for around three quarters of global output, directly generated US$78.4 billion of gross value added (GVA) in 2012 – approximately equal to the GDP of Ecuador or Azerbaijan or 30% of the estimated GDP of Shanghai.
  • Large scale, formal gold mining in the top 15 producing countries directly employed an estimated 527,900 people in 2012.
  • In 2012, investment demand (consisting of bar and coin and gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs)) accounted for 35% of global gold demand, central bank gold purchases accounted for 12%, jewellery accounted for 43% and use in technology/manufacturing accounted for around 10% of gold demand.
  • The 13 largest gold consuming countries in 2012 accounted for 75% of gold used for fabrication and 81% of gold used for (final) consumption, either in the form of jewellery or investment products such as small bars and coins.
  • Overall, the GVA associated with the supply of and demand for gold is estimated to be in excess of US$210 billion across those countries in scope of this analysis: this means it is similar to the GDP of the Republic of Ireland or the Czech Republic or Beijing.

In this short video introduced by Adam Shishmanian, Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, Jason Burkitt, our head of mining, discusses the findings of our report with Terry Heymann, Director of Gold for Development at the World Gold Council.