Chinese production of gold is set to outstrip that of South Africa within two years, according to a precious metals commentator.
Morino G Pieterse of Goldletter International told Interfax China that, having surpassed Australia last year in terms of gold production, the world's most populous nation will soon overtake both the US and South Africa to become the largest global producer by 2010.
Such traditional markets have been the mainstay of the gold production industry for many years but emerging nations such as Peru, China and Indonesia are increasingly assuming the mantle.
Production in South Africa declined from 527 to 292 tons between 1997 and 2006, while in China it increased from 162.8 to 247.2 tons over the same period.
"China's gold output surpassed Australia's last year, is due to surpass US production this year, and will surpass South African production within two years," said Mr Pieterse.
Meanwhile, Jinshan Gold Mines has announced the final results from its Phase I diamond drilling at China's Dadiangou Gold Project, which confirm "significant gold mineralization over a large area".