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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's gold production rose for a sixth consecutive year and hit a record 403 tonnes in 2012, keeping its ranking as the world's largest bullion producer, the Shanghai Securities News said on Thursday.
Compared to a year ago, gold production was up 11.7 percent, the paper said, citing data from China's Gold Association. The country overtook South Africa as the world's top bullion producer in 2007 and its gold output has doubled since 2003.
China has said that it aims to produce between 420 and 450 tonnes of the precious metal in 2015, while consumption may reach 1,000 tonnes by then.
China, which vies with India to be the world's top gold consumer, has seen its gold demand jump in recent years as an increasing affluent population turns to gold as an investment.
Hong Kong's net gold flow to mainland China jumped 47 percent in 2012 to a record high of 557.478 tonnes, indicating robust demand in China.
Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman