The mining industry, which is considered as one of the fastest-growing industries, holds an important place in many countries around the world.
Nations that are mining for gold, coal, uranium, aluminium, copper, bauxite, and other metals and minerals know how to make the most of these precious natural resources: mining generates income for their governments, and it also helps boost their economy by allowing other industries to develop and prosper.
Here is an overview of 12 of the most important mining countries in the world, and what they are mining for.
1. South Africa
South Africa used to be the largest producer of gold in the world, but it now ranks fifth. This rich nation is the biggest producer of platinum in the world, and it also produces a good amount of manganese, coal, cromium, and diamonds. Some of the deepest mines in the world, including Mponeng gold mine, can be found in this country.
China is one of the best known mining countries in the world. It is currently the leading producer of gold in the world, while also being the biggest consumer of this precious metal. China is also the world’s largest producer of coal, fluorite, aluminium, bismuth, mercury, mica, tin, and zinc. A few other metals and rare earths are being mined by this rich and hardworking nation.
Russia is the fourth largest producer of gold in the world. This vast country is also the leading producer of diamonds and palladium, and the second leading producer of aluminium, mica, nickel, and platinum. The russian iron ore reserves are the biggest ones in the world, and the country is also mining for copper, coal, bauxite, and steel.
Australia is among the most industrious mining countries in the world. It is second largest producer of gold, as well as the second largest supplier of seaborne ore. The country possesses one of the largest rare earth reserves on the planet, and is constantly increasing its output. Australia is also known as a supplier of bauxite, nickel, diamonds, iron ore, lithium, zinc, and uranium.
5. United States
The United States are currently the world’s third largest gold producing country. They are also the second largest producer of thorium, a radioactive metal, and they are the largest producer of fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas. The Lucky Friday mine, located in northern Idaho, is one of the deepest mines in the world. It contains silver, zinc, and lead.
Peru is the sixth largest gold producer in the world, and is seen as the second largest producer of copper and silver. Iron ore, lead, zinc, tin, bismuth, coal, petroleum and natural gas are also being exploited by the mining industry of this South American country. In Peru, mining has different environmental and social impacts that mining companies are trying to compensate for.
India is currently the world’s second largest producer of coal, and the largest producer of thorium. This country is also a large producer of mica, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, copper, lead, manganese ore, diamonds, and natural gas. According to experts in the industry, India has not yet fully realized the potential of its rare earth reserves.
Ghana is the seventh largest gold producer in the world, and the second largest gold producing African country. Even though the main focus on Ghana’s mining industry is gold, the country is also an important producer of diamonds, manganese, and bauxite, and it also produces silver, salt, aluminium, petroleum, and natural gas.
Canada is the eighth largest gold producer in the world, and most of the country’s gold mines are located in Ontario. Ontario’s Kidd Creek copper and zinc mine and Creighton mine, as well as Quebec’s LaRonde gold mine, are some of the deepest mines on the planet. Canada is also known as the second largest producer of uranium in the world, just behind Kazakhstan. Canada also has some state-of-the-art mining software technology that helps the industry thrive.
Indonesia is the ninth largest gold producer on the planet, and Grasberg mine, the largest gold mine in the world, is located in this country. Indonesian mines also produce coal, copper, nickel, tin, bauxite, diamonds, petroleum, and natural gas.
Ukraine is the seventh largest producer of iron ore in the world, and is the eighth largest producer of iron and steel. The mines of this country also produce gold, diamonds, coal, manganese, aluminium, uranium, thorium, scandium, titanium, and zirconium. The country still has reserves of mercury, but mercury mining was abandoned a few decades ago.
Guinea has the largest reserves of bauxite in the world, although it is currently the sixth producer of this sedimentary rock. The country is also an important producer of gold, iron ore, uranium, and diamonds. Salt, manganese, graphite, nickel, and limestone are also being mined in Guinea, and the mining industry helped the country’s economy after it declared its independence.