Record high gold prices are boosting the earnings and valuations of Gold Mining companies. Around 20 of the biggest gold producers are members of the World Gold Council, representing approximately 60% of global corporate gold production and with mining operations that stretch to almost every inhabited continent. According to the association, this equals an annual gold production of 30 million fine ounces, or some 950 metric. The member companies have a combined value of $200 billion and $40 billion in annual revenue.
This week, the world's largest gold producer Barrick Gold Corp. reported record high profits for 2010. Fourth quarter (Q4) net income was a record $896 million ($0.90 per share). Q4 adjusted net income rose 57% to $947 million ($0.95 per share) compared to $604 million ($0.61 per share) in Q4 2009. Full year production was 7.77 million ounces at lower total, and net cash costs of $457 and $341 per ounce, respectively.
Following are profiles of five of the world's largest gold mining companies and images of their large scale mining operations.