A day after reports flew that Russia has become the world's biggest buyer of the safe haven yellow gold metal, the country's Gold Producers' Union said Vladimir Putin's turf is poised to become the world's third biggest gold producer by 2015.
This as higher prices of the metal in the world market are sure to boost mining companies to increase production volumes, Sergey Kashuba, chairman of the Gold Producers' Union, said at a conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
Gold prices are expected to reach $1,845 per ounce in 2015, according to a January report by Morgan Stanley, when it averaged $1,668.77 an ounce in 2012.
"Should gold prices maintain their gains, Russia's gold output will continue to expand by 4 per cent to 5 per cent annually through 2020," Mr Kashuba said. It could become the world's third biggest producer of the metal, up from fourth in 2012.
Russia churned out 226 tonnes of the safe haven yellow gold metal in 2012, which represented a 7.1 per cent jump from the 211.1 tonnes produced in 2011.
Mine output in 2012 was 200 tonnes, compared from the year ago figure of 188.7 tonnes. Incidental or byproduct gold reached 17.4 tonnes and secondary gold production at 8.5 tonnes.
Over the last decade, Russia's central bank has added 570 metric tonnes of the safe haven yellow gold metal, data from the International Monetary Fund showed.
Just like with other nations, Russia has been splurging on gold more as a hedge against any potential collapse in the value of one of the global reserve currencies, primarily the US dollar.
"The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there's a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency," Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Putin's United Russia party, told Bloomberg.
Prices of gold have soared almost 400 per cent since the year 2000.