LONDON (Commodity Online): Reports from China and South Africa, two major gold producers in the world, show that gold output this year may witness a surge as several companies have ramped up their production to cash in on the rising prices and increased demand.

According to Chinese media, the country produced 70.16 tonnes of gold in the first three months of 2010. This is a gain of around 4.4 per cent year-on-year.

The report further added that gold mining companies in China produced 57.3 tonnes of gold in the first three months of 2010,  up 6.03% year-on-year.

Gold refining companies produced 20.6 tonnes of gold in the three-month period, down 1.82 per cent from the previous year. The top five gold refining companies accounted for 87.14 percent of the total gold bullion produced by domestic gold refining companies.

Based on current gold prices, China's gold producers achieved a total output value of $5.54 billion in the first three months of 2010, up 32.97 percent from the same period last year, while combined profits increased by 59.42 percent year-on-year to $590.33 million.

Another report from South Africa said that gold mining companies have come up with better output this year as compared to the previous year.

Mineros, Colombia's largest gold producer, is expected to produce 110,000 ounces of gold this year compared with 90,000 ounces last year.

Higher output is driven by its recently inaugurated underground mine La Y in Antioquia province, which is expected to produce 20,000 ounces this year and as much as 30,000 ounces of gold in 2011.

Mineros gold output is expected to reach 130,000 ounces in 2011 with 100,000 ounces coming from river dredging operations in Antioquia and the central province of Caldas.

Mineros said it plans to invest $150 million in gold exploration over the next 10 years to bolster production to 500,000 ounces. Exploration investment over the next four years is $15 million per year.

Initially, Mineros is looking at acquisition of gold deposits in Colombia. It also plans to team up with other gold companies operating in the Andean country as long as it obtains the majority stake and operating control.

In the future, the company is looking at acquisitions in Ecuador and Peru.