A significant 32% increase in gold production for 2022, has once again propelled Ghana to the summit of gold producing countries in Africa, as disclosed by the president of the Ghana chamber of mines on Friday, 9 June 2023.
According to Joshua Mortoti, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ghana’s gold output rose from 2.8 million ounces in 2021 to 3.7 million ounces in 2022 thus toppling south Africa to regain the top spot after losing out in 2021. The surge in gold output has been attributed to growth in the production levels of both large and small-scale sectors. “The large-scale gold sub-sector recorded its highest output in the country’s history in 2022,” he said at the Ghana Mining and Energy Summit.
Explaining further, Joshua Mortoti pointed out that the large-scale sector’s contribution to national gold output increased by 13% to 3.1 million ounces last year from 2.7 million ounces in 2021 as a result of total output and the expansion of production at existing mines. In addition, member companies of the chamber had sold approximately 77,620 ounces of gold under the Domestic Gold Purchase Program.
In a similar statement, the minister for lands and natural resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP), has also attributed this resurgence to the revival of two major mines – AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine in 2019 and the Bibiani Mine in 2022. This he has said, played a significant role in boosting gold production. “The Bibiani Mine, which had been dormant for seven (7) years, was also revived in October 2022. The revival of these two mines, the expansion of output by some existing mines, and the reduction of the withholding tax rate on unprocessed gold by small-scale miners, which was introduced in 2015, from three percent (3%) to one and a half percent (1.5%), have contributed significantly to Ghana’s new position on the continent.”
Gold Production in South Africa
On the South African front, gold production decreased by 20.42% from about 3.7 million ounces in 2021 to around 2.96 million ounces in 2022, according to the Minerals Council of South Africa in their Facts and Figures Pocketbook 2022. Gold production in South Africa has been on a steady decline over the last decade due to several constraints and challenges in the industry. These constraints include sporadic and unreliable electricity supply, which has significantly contributed to the fall in production along with various other constraints such as illegal mining, crime, theft and policy uncertainty. Estimates from the Minerals Council also show that total gold sales decreased by 13.11% in 2022.