Ghana’s gold output rose 46 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year as new projects came on stream and artisanal mining output expanded, the Ghana Chamber of Mines said in a report on Friday.
Total gold output stood at 4.13 million ounces, the highest level in nearly 40 years, up from 2.84 million ounces in 2015, the report said.
“The steep upswing in the country’s main mineral export, gold from 2.8 million ounces in 2015 to 4.1 million ounces in 2016 was driven by fresh production from Asanko Gold Ghana Limited on the first Phase of its Obotan Mines and substantial increase in export through the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC),” the report said.
Besides, Anglogold Ashanti’s Iduapriem and Newmont’s Ahafo recorded growth in production.
Output from artisanal miners rose nearly five-fold to 1.5 million ounces in 2016 from 267,662 in the previous year.
Total gold revenue rose 55 percent to $5.15 Billion relative to the $3.32 billion dollars recorded in 2015.
Manganese output also rose to 2 million tonnes last year from 1.2 million tonnes, while diamond production slipped to 143,005 carats from 185,376 carats in 2015.
Mr Kwame Addo-Kuffuor, President of the chamber, said the mining sector has huge potential to support the accelerated economic development and growth of the country.
“The potential for the mining industry in Ghana to support broad economic development is not lost on the Chamber of Mines. Besides the significant fiscal contributions of mining to the economy, the industry is keen to create, and grow a robust local supplier base,” Mr Addo-Kuffuor said. On his part, Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, said transparency in the mining sector was critical to the positive image of the industry.
He said the perceived lack of transparency in the industry had been the underlying factor of acrimony between mining companies and their host communities as well as public suspicion that mining companies are exploiting the nation.
“Government therefore expects that as partners, we will be able to work together openly with mutual trust and devoid of any hidden tricks,” Mr Amewu said.
The Chamber’s Annual General Meeting came at the end of the Mining and Energy Forum and Exhibitions, which brought together members of the Chamber and other stakeholders to deliberate on the way forward for the mining industry.
High energy tariffs, unreliable power supply, high cost of fuel, high taxes, un-refunded Value Added Tax (VAT) payments and delays in permitting were the major concerns of the industry during the three-day forum.