The idea that developing countries consume the metal resources of the developing world is not accurate. Mineral exploration companies prefer to explore in jurisdictions with good geology, a history of mining and legislation that matches that history. Canada and Australia are endowed with minerals that they produce for export, often to developing countries. As you can see here, year after year the most mineral exploration dollars spent by country are in Canada followed by Australia, the United States and South Africa. Metal production tells the same story. China has recently risen to be the largest producer in the world of gold and accounts for an increasingly larger proportion of the world's production of many other metals.For example, China's steel production skyrocketed from 66 million tons in 1990
to 500 million tons in 2008, which was 38 percent of the world's total. Nevertheless Canada remains the 9th largest producer of gold (Australia #2, US #3), the 9th largest producer of copper (Australia #4, US #5), the 6th largest producer of zinc (Australia #3, US #5), the 4th largest producer of nickel and the 7th largest producer of lead (Australia #2, US #3).
See great maps illustrating world metal and other commodity production here .