Ghana earns $2.3b from mining in 2008 – report

miningGhana earns $2.3 billion from its mining sector in 2008, the third quarter report on the country’s mining sector released by a research company has said.

The report by Companies and Markets, which was released Thursday July 23, 2009, says Ghana derives the bulk of its external revenue from gold mining, which accounts for over 90% of the country’s total mineral exports.

Apart from gold, Ghana also produces significant quantities of bauxite and diamonds. The country is also counted among the top five nations across the globe for its manganese ore production. Ghana is home to some of the biggest names from the global extractive industry: Gold Fields (Ghana), Newmont Ghana and South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti.

In 2008, overall revenues from the Ghanaian mining sector reached US$2.3bn, an increase of 28% y-o-y, according to figures released by the Ghana Chamber of Mines in June 2009. Gold revenues stood at US$2.2bn, with output of 2.6mn oz (up 4% y-o-y) selling at an average realised price of US$852 per oz.

Manganese revenue was up by a stellar 69%, to US$62.34mn, while bauxite revenue was essentially flat, at US$19.81mn, the report said.

According to the report, stakeholders in the mining sector claim that regulations pertaining to compensation need to be updated; that the price levels for valuing crops, livestock and landed property have not been reviewed for a number of years. They also point out that in other African countries, such as Tanzania, the state pays the compensation and not the miner.

The basic law governing the mining industry is the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703). Under the law, the president holds the power to grant mining rights. However, the pressure to amend the law and allow farmers to have a say in authorising their lands for mining activity is increasingly gaining favour in the country, and is being seen as a necessary move to crack down on the rampant exploitation of the environment by mining industries.

The report citing the frequent disruption to power supplies as another challenge to the mining industry which continues to escalate costs in mining operations, said in June 2008, the Ghanaian cabinet gave the go-ahead for the country to develop a nuclear power sector. If realised, the report said, the new plant will diversify the country’s power sector and offer the boost in generation that Ghana requires to meet demand.

Meanwhile, in another report by Business Monitor International, a market survey company which was published in March 2009, Ghana’s mining industry is expected to be worth $3.14 billion in 2013 from $1.03 billion in 2008.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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