Tapping into the Resource-Rich West Africa
Recent times have seen West Africa going through a mining boom and the region has it’s geology to thank for it. The Birimian belt in West Africa is the most productive of the several greenstone gemstone gold belts the continent boasts about. Apart from gold being the stand-out commodity, the region is also seeing a massive rush in iron-ore mainly in the Pre-Cambrian BIF deposits. Coupled with the geological wealth, West African countries like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire have reformed and strengthened their mining frameworks and policies planting steps towards a more sustainable and transparent future. Côte d’Ivoire now has become one of the most competitive mining codes in Africa. Lastly, there is also the case of Africa of becoming the global demand engine for minerals with the continent having the highest number of emerging countries, making the region more prone to miners.
Mali, Africa’s third largest gold producer is estimated to surpass its Industrial Gold mining to beat 2017 forecasts. The country has experienced a mining rush with big players such as AngloGold Ashanti and Randgold Resources and B2Gold’s giant Fekola Project. The Fekola Mine will add up to 410,000 ounces of gold boosting the nation’s output. Hummingbird Resources have also declared their Yanfolila mine should produce first gold before 2018.
Toro Gold has announced that at its Mako gold project in Senegal things are going according to schedule and that the mine should produce its first gold in Q1 2018. Teranga Gold Corp. in Senegal and Burkina Faso are also looking at expansion and becoming a mid-tier gold producer.
Chalco, a subsidiary of Chinalco, is poised to invest up to $500mn in the Simandou iron ore project, located in Guinea, West Africa. “This project has the potential to transform the Guinean economy and bolster the West African nation’s global competitiveness as an attractive and stable investment destination.” (http://www.miningglobal.com) SRG Graphite Inc. announcing it’s subsidiary SRG Graphite International Inc. and Great Lakes Graphite Inc. have executed a MOU whereby the companies have agreed to work towards negotiating a supply agreement form SRG’s Lola Deposit located in Guinea.
Endeavour Mining has invested $412-million Ity carbon-in-leach (CIL) project, in Cote d’Ivoire, the go-ahead. The nation’s strong pipeline of gold mining projects will result in growth of the country. “Endeavour Mining’s Agbaou gold project is one example – the mine produced between 150 000 oz and 155 000 oz in 2015, and expects to produce 400 000 oz, accounting for roughly half of the county’s gold output, at full production in 2019.” (https://www.miningreview.com) There is more good news for Cote d’Ivoire with Orca Gold receiving ministerial approval for the acquisition of Kinross Gold Corporation’s Côte d’Ivoire gold assets. The country’s massive gold reserves will continue to attract investment from mining companies and act as a stepping stone to Cote d’Ivoire’s path to economic development.