Despite the year's lower gold prices, exploration for gold and the development of new mines worldwide continued to expand during 1985. U.S. developments were highlighted by Nevada's continued dominance as both a gold producer and the focal point for gold exploration and mine development. Domestic gold consumption and gold trading activity on the nation's commodity exchanges declined from 1984 levels. Net imports of gold rose substantially during the year. Foreign gold developments included increased exploration, mine development, and production in many countires, especially Canada and Australia. The republic of South Africa was again the world's largest producer with about 46% of the world total of over 47 million oz. World gold consumption increased over that of 1984. Gold mine production and gold consumption in the United States and the rest of the world was expected to increase through the end of the century.