BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China produced 307.8 tonnes of gold in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 6.8 percent, or 19.608 tonnes, from a year earlier, the China Gold Association said on Wednesday.
Of the total output, 253.155 tonnes came from gold mines, up 4.93 percent year on year. The remaining 54.655 tonnes were a by-product of nonferrous metal smelting, up 16.44 percent, said the association in a statement.
China has been the world's largest gold producer since 2007, when the country churned out 270.491 tonnes of the precious metal and replaced South Africa in the number-one spot.
The World Gold Council has forecast that China will overtake India as the world's largest gold consumer this year. In 2012, Chinese gold consumption rose 9.35 percent to 832 tonnes.