BEIJING, June 3 -- China, the world's second-largest gold consumer, produced 28.870 tonnes of the precious metal in April, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on its website on Thursday.
Total output for the first four months of the year was 99.031 tonnes, up 5.58 percent over the same months of 2009. China has been the world's top gold producer for the past three years.
Reuters calculations from the official data, which is released sporadically by the ministry, showed production was 6 percent higher in April than in March, and 9.6 percent higher on a daily average basis.
Overall output rebounded in March after production slumped in January and February during an unexpectedly harsh winter.
The data showed that the amount of gold produced as a by-product of base metal output fell by 2.6 percent in the first four months of the year, compared to the same months of 2009. That was also a sharp slowdown from the first two months of 2010, when by-product output was up 12.6 percent.
Primary production of gold, which accounts for the bulk of output, was up 7.55 percent in the first four months of the year, giving an overall rise.
China has raised gold production every year since 2004, producing a total of 313.980 tonnes last year, an average of 26.165 tonnes per month.