Russia set to become world’s top gold producer by 2029: Fitch report

Russia is on track to surpass China as the world’s top producer of gold by the end of the decade, according to a new report by Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research.

Despite some short-term disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia will achieve average annual growth of 3.7% year-on-year between 2020 and 2029.

Aside from a severe 900-case outbreak at Polyus Gold’s large-scale Olympiada mine in Eastern Siberia, most Russian gold mines have remained virus-free and operational throughout the year.

The pandemic provides some downside risk to the country’s current gold production forecast in 2020, but there are other forces working in favour of Russia’s gold industry, according to Fitch.

“Expanding US sanctions and tension between the two countries have incentivized the Russian central bank to increase its gold reserves,” the report reads.

“Moreover, in early August, the Libya Stabilisation Act is expected to pass through the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, imposing additional sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in escalating the civil war in Libya.

“The act would allow the Trump administration to freeze funds in American banks, cutting off access to dollar-denominated assets and in turn maintaining elevated domestic demand for Russian gold.”