China still No 1 gold producer

China produced 340.88 tons of gold in 2010, an increase of 8.57 percent from last year, making it the world’s top producer of gold for the fourth consecutive year, according to the website of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Thursday.

The NDRC said China’s gold industry has been developing fast, at an annual growth rate of 9.8 percent from 1978 to 2007.

China produced 270.5 tons of gold in 2007, becoming the No 1 gold producer for the first time.

China retained that status by producing 282.1 tons in 2008, 313.98 tons in 2009 and 340.88 tons in 2010.

NDRC said the adjustment of this industry has been sped up over the last five years. The number of gold-producing companies has been reduced from 1,200 to 700.

Gold prices in Hong Kong rose by HK$80 ($10) to open at HK$ 12,673 per tael on Friday, according to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society. The price is equivalent to $1,365.59 a troy ounce, up by $8.62.

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