China may have overtaken India as the world's top consumer of gold in the first quarter of 2012, but the country is not resting on its laurels. By buying gold mines, and accumulating the produced gold before it hits the international market, China is able to purchase gold below the spot gold price. 

In the first successful example of a Chinese company taking over a large-sized gold mine that is in production, Zijin Mining Group Co, China's top gold producer by output, said a subsidiary has bought more than 50% of Australia-listed Norton Gold Fields.


On its part, Zijin has moved the country a step closer to cementing its position in the world market as a top consumer. Though China and India together make up about 54% of the world's gold purchases, the latter has long been number one. The dynamics are set to change this year.

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