Gold Production Peaks At 64 Percent

Gold production rose 64 percent in the first quarter of 2012 as higher prices led companies to boost operations, Minerals Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ben Aryee has disclosed. Output in the period rose to 1.53 million ounces, with prices averaging US$1,689 per ounce in the first quarter from US$1,389 per ounce for the same period last year. “High gold prices are motivating mining firms to increase production. New companies have also come on-stream. The higher rates make it profitable for mining companies to mine low-grade ore,” Aryee said. Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Mines expects a rise in 2012 gold production, after full-year gold production in 2011 declined marginally. Ghana Chamber of Mines Chief Executive Officer Dr. Toni Aubynn, told B&FT in Accra: “Gold output last year came down two to three percent compared to the year before, and the decline could have been deeper but for the fact that Australian miner Adamus Resources poured its first gold in January last year. “Two more mines are expected to come on-stream this year and we also anticipate that Adamus will increase its production. So we are going to see production go up this year,” Meanwhile, Mr. Daniel Owiredu, President of the Chamber, predicted a mixed outlook for the country’s mining industry this year, expecting gold to sustain its good performance in the global market while bauxite and manganese exports could fall as a result of a decline in demand. “The coming year looks promising for the mining industry. Additional production from new mines and the prospects from the Owere Mines are expected to bring in increased production. “The expected higher volumes of mineral production and the strengthening of gold prices are expected to result in increased mineral revenue, with a corresponding increase in mineral royalties and corporate-tax payment to government,” Owiredu said. In the first half of 2011 the country produced 1,497,023 ounces, up 3 percent over the same period of 2010 -- with revenues jumping 31 percent to US$2.2billion on the back of higher gold prices. Output was originally rising in 2011, but in the end shrunk since a number of firms focused on longer-term maintenance and expansion projects rather than maximising existing production.