Ghana Gold Mining and Exploration

- August 1st, 2018

Junior and major miners are pursuing Ghana gold mining. The country has seen economic growth and great resource output in recent years.

Gold mining isn’t Ghana’s biggest claim to fame, but the country is Africa’s second-largest gold producer. Plus it hosts more estimated reserves than key gold-producing countries like Peru and Papua New Guinea.

Those factors make gold mining in Ghana a pursuit with great potential. In fact, Southern Ghana has been considered one of the world’s most prolific regions for gold discoveries for some time, with both gold producers and explorers enjoying success there.

Ghana gold also stacks up in terms of production — as mentioned, it’s Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal. In 2016, it produced a 40-year high of 4.13 million ounces. Read on to learn more about Ghana gold, from conditions to the companies that operate there.

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Economic and geopolitical conditions

Ghana is classified as a lower- to middle-income economy that is well endowed with natural resources. The country has seen strong economic growth recently — its GDP grew 8.5 percent in 2017. Aside from gold, the country also exports resources such as cocoa, oil, timber, electricity, diamonds, bauxite and manganese; they are all major sources of foreign revenue.

Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act came into effect in 2006, and underwent improvements in 2014 to address an ongoing problem in the country’s mining industry: illegal gold mining. The Ghanaian government has had trouble with illegal small-scale gold mining, and those issues have put pressure on its relationship with China and caused trouble for its cocoa industry. The laws have been updated to criminalize illegal mining operations pursued by both Ghanaian citizens as well as foreigners.

Ghana gold producers

Ghana’s annual gold revenues rose to $3.52 billion in 2017, a 10.2-percent increase from 2016. This is thought to be the result of greater output from the country’s mines, as per the Ghana Chamber of Mines.

Indeed, large miners in the country have been producing impressive amounts of gold. Current big gold producers in Ghana include Asanko Gold (TSX:AKG) and AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU). The former brought its Asanko gold mine into commercial production in April 2016. The latter wholly owns two gold operations in Ghana: Iduapriem and Obuasi. Iduapriem produced 228,000 ounces of gold in 2017, while Obuasi produced none as it is currently on care and maintenance.

The country’s largest mine, Tarkwa, is operated by Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI). Tarkwa, along with Damang, another of the company’s West African mines, produced 710,000 ounces of gold in 2017.

Another large company operating in Ghana is Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), which has two gold-producing mines there: Ahafo and Akyem. Newmont was ranked the industry leader in sustainability in 2017 by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and has made the list for 11 consecutive years now. In January 2018 it was ranked 328 out of 500 on Fortune’s list of most-admired companies.

Endeavor Mining (TSX:EDV) used to mine gold in Ghana, but in 2017 privately owned BCM International bought the company’s Nzema mine in the country for US$65 million. The deal closed in December of that year. Nzema is located on the south end of the Ashanti Gold Belt, and produced 87,710 ounces of gold in 2016, down 20 percent from the year before. No news on 2017 output has yet been released.

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Perseus Mining (TSX:PRU,ASX:PRU) began commercial production at its Edikan gold mine in January 2012. Average gold production is estimated at 214,000 ounces per year over the remainder of its life, which is set to end in 2024.

Major miner Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC) holds a 90-percent interest in the Chirano gold mine in Ghana, while the government of Ghana owns the remaining 10 percent. The mine produced 60,179 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2018.

Golden Star Resources (TSX:GSC) has a stake in the Wassa mine through a 90-percent held subsidiary; Wassa has mineral reserves of 1.32 million ounces at an average grade of 2.37 g/t gold. The company also holds the Prestea mine, which has operated for over 100 years and produced 22,110 ounces of gold in Q1 2018. The firm won company of the year at the Ghana Mining Industry Awards last year.

Ghana gold juniors

Ghana is home to many major miners, but juniors operate in the country as well. Below we’ve listed a few that are currently active; all had market caps above $10 million at the time of publication:

  • Azumah Resources (ASX:AZM— The company is focused on what it says is a highly prospective gold province in Ghana’s upper west region.
  • Cardinal Resources (ASX:CDV— Cardinal Resources is developing its Namdini project in Ghana, and also holds the Bolgatanga and Subranum projects in the country.
  • Cassius Mining (ASX:CMD— The Gbane project in Ghana is Cassius Mining’s main asset; it is located along strike from Cardinal’s Namdini project.
  • Pinecrest Resources (TSXV:PCR— Pinecrest Resources’ wholly owned Enchi gold project is located in Ghana.
  • Xtra-Gold Resources (TSX:XTG— The company holds the Kibi project in Ghana’s Kibi Gold Belt.

Are you interested in Ghana gold? Tell us your favourite gold companies in the comments below. You can also let us know if we missed a Ghana gold company you think should be included.

This is an updated version of an article published previously by the Investing News Network.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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