The price of gold has more than doubled in the past five years, creating considerable interest in trading the precious metal. Roughly $75 billion is traded in the London bullion market every day.
Despite demand, gold is extremely scarce. By some estimates, all of the gold ever mined in the history of the world would fill only two Olympic-size swimming pools. Given the U.S. Geological Society estimates that just 51,000 tons of global gold reserves remain in the ground, gold mining remains a lucrative business.
Location: Papua, Indonesia
Gold Production In 2011: 1,444,000
Size: 527,400 acres
Active Miners: Freeport-McMoRan Copper Gold
Mining Operations: Open pit, underground