West Africa's gold production to rise 30% in four years
Gold production from West Africa is set to rise about 30 percent over the next 4 years, driven largely by higher output from Randgold and Iamgold, a top executive of metals consultancy GFMS said on Tuesday.
“In West Africa gold mine production is growing, the figures are obviously a lot smaller there, as it is a smaller sector,” Managing Director Paul Burton told an event hosted by MineAfrica — a group that promotes mining investment in Africa.
Gold production from West Africa is expected to rise by about 2 million ounces a year, or 57 tonnes by the end of 2013.
The increased output will be largely driven by Randgold’s Tongon and Gounkoto projects, along with Newmont’s Akyem project and Iamgold’s Essakane project.
The combined gold output from Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Ivory Coast has risen more than 65 percent over the last five years to about 190 tonnes per year.
However, these West African countries are growing off a small base and despite the sharp increase these countries still account for less than 8 percent of the roughly 2,500 tonnes of gold mined globally in 2009.
The growth in West Africa is in sharp contrast to the falling output from traditional gold producing strongholds such as South Africa, the United States, Australia and Canada, said Burton, in a presentation at the MineAfrica event.
The event was held on the sidelines of the Toronto PDAC mining convention, organized by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the largest industry gathering of its kind, which draws more than 20,000 participants annually.
World gold mine production has in general been steadily declining since the early 2000s, although supply did tick higher in 2009 and output could rise again in 2010, said Burton, citing increased gold production in China and other parts of the world.