Ghana topples SA as Africa’s gold leader

Ghana has officially become the continent’s biggest producer of the precious metal that used to be the bedrock of South Africa’s economy – gold.

Reasons given for Ghana surpassing South Africa as Africa’s gold leader, despite only having 1000 metric tonnes in reserves compared to SA’s 6000 as measured by US Geological Survey, is mainly because of Accra’s friendlier investor policies and infrastructural initiatives.

Bloomberg reports that the mines in Ghana are also more cost efficient, a primary reason why South African gold mining enterprises Anglo Gold Ashanti and Gold Fields are shifting their focus north west of the equator.

It has also been reported that in South Africa “output is shrinking as operators capitulate to stubbornly high costs, regular strikes and the geological challenges of tapping the world’s deepest mines”.

Sibanye Gold, one of the local producers that have staked a claim for loyalty, albeit an expensive one, recently announced massive job cuts in a bid to stay afloat amid rising cost challenges.

In comparison, Ghana’s gold industry is expected to grow even stronger after posting a 12% increase in profits last year, while most mining executives agree that the West African country’s shallower deposits are increasingly proving to be a more promising prospect than staying “at home”.

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