When I visited South Africa in 1979, it was the world’s largest gold producer, mining some 1,000 tons a year. Today South Africa is not even in the top 10 gold producing countries.
Between 2010 and 2018, the world’s gold production grew by 2.5%. However, over the last two years, production has fallen by 4.78%. Some analysts say this decline is because of the pandemic.
Yet, there is speculation that all the large, easy to find deposits have been found as major gold mining companies have cut their exploration budgets.
For more details on world gold production, see World Gold Production.