Tag Archives: gold mining

Africa Investigates: The Corruption behind Ghana’s gold industry

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The gold mining sector in Cote d’Ivoire

Just some interesting data I found on Internet. The website also has data about the mining sectors in most of the African countries, including recent free publications on Liberia, Ghana or Sierra Leone.

La Mancha Resources Inc. held a 45.9% interest in the Ity gold mine. The company reported that the mine had produced 1,608 kg of gold (reported as 51,710 troy ounces) during the year compared with 1,694 kg (reported as 54,460 troy ounces) in 2008. The slight decrease in production was the result of a reduction in mill throughput and of a lower gold recovery rate (La Mancha Resources Inc., 2010, p. 7-8).
The Bonikro gold mine, which is located in south-central Côte d’Ivoire about 250 km northwest of the capital city of Abidjan, achieved its first full year of production. The mine produced 4,700 kg of gold (reported as 150,000 troy ounces). Lihir Gold Ltd. of Australia (the company that operated the mine) planned to invest $37 million in exploration in 2010 and was considering increasing annual production to more than 6,000 kilograms per year (kg/yr) by 2012 (Lihir Gold Ltd., 2010, p. 16).
The Angovia Mine, which is located about 40 km northwest of Yamoussoukro, produced 673 kg of gold during the year. Cluff Gold plc. of the United Kingdom (the company that operated the mine) estimated that production at Angovia would reach about 900 kg (reported as 30,000 troy ounces) in 2010. The company planned to continue with its ongoing drilling program, which was initially to focus on a 5,000-meter (m)reverse-circulation drilling program to identify near-surface gold-in-laterite and gold-in-saprolite deposits (Cluff Gold plc, 2010, p. 10-11).
London-based Randgold Resources Ltd. acquired a further 5% interest in the Tongon gold project, which raised its equity in the project to 89%. The company announced that construction of a metallurgical processing plant with a capacity to process 3.6 million metric tons per year of ore was underway and that the completion of construction work at the Tongon Mine, which was expected to come online in October 2010, was on schedule. Production for 2010 was expected to be about 2,300 kg/yr (reported as 75,000 troy ounces). The company envisioned producing about 9,000 kg/yr (reported as 290,000 troy ounces) during the first 2 full years of operation and then to average about 8,400 kg/yr (reported as 270,000 troy ounces) for the remainder of the mine’s life, which was estimated to be 10 years. The Government held a 10% interest in the Tongon Mine, and the remaining equity was held by a local Ivorian company (name not disclosed) (Randgold Resources Ltd., 2009, p. 14, 30-35; 2010, p. 36-39).

Read the full report here.

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The scramble for Cote d’Ivoire minerals

To finance the re-construction of the country and to materialize the ambitious developement plan Ouattara had promised during his campaign, the Ivorian government is going to significantly develop the mining sector. Although coffee and cocoa will still provide a significant income, the diversification will help stabilizing the country economy and avoid an extreme dependency on a handful of commodity prices on international markets.

Many factors allow the expansion of that sector: the prices of commodities such as gold is the main one. Trading over $1700, gold mining could quickly become one of the major industry in the country, as it is already in neighbouring Ghana or Mali. And the prospects look good for Cote d’Ivoire:

Many experts believe that Ivory Coast could turn into an important African gold mining country, if the approval process for new mining operations is sped up. A higher Ivorian gold production would surely spell good news for the global gold market, since gold production has been in decline for ten consecutive years. Toungara added that only 30 mining permits had been obtained in the last ten years, with requests reaching a total number of 170.

While the country’s gold production is expected to almost double to 13 metric tons by 2013, the government aims to increase it to 20 metric tons per year by 2020 – a tripling of Ivory Coast’s gold output within just one decade. The country – along with other African nations – also needs to work on guaranteeing consistent electricity generation if it hopes to achieve these ambitious production goals. Power disruptions have hurt African gold mining companies’ ability to capitalise on high gold prices. To remedy this, Ivory Coast intends to invest $500 million on upgrading the country’s most important gas-fired power station. Source

 

The unification of the country also open the gates to legitimate operators who could not/ were not willing to operate with rebel authorities in the North or with the Gbagbo regime.

Adama Toungara, the Energy and Mining minister announced that measures would be taken to significantly speed up and facilitate the approval process for mining concessions in Cote d’Ivoire. We can soon expect to see concessions allocated to Australian, Canadian, American or South African companies for the development of the mining sector.

On the same subject, you can also watch the BBC debate Does Mining Benefit Africa, about the impact of mining on the country’s economy and whether or not it has a positive effect on African people’s lives. (click on the image to watch the video).

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