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Ghana wins back largest gold producer spot from South Africa

Ghana experienced a significant 32% surge in gold production last year, allowing it to reclaim its position as the largest gold producer in Africa from South Africa, the president of the mines chamber said on Friday, according to Reuters.

After experiencing a substantial decline in output, Ghana had relinquished the top spot to South Africa in 2021.

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However, in 2022, gold production in Ghana rose to 3.7 million ounces, a notable increase from the previous year’s 2.8 million ounces. This growth can be attributed to advancements in both the large-scale and small-scale sectors of gold mining in the country.

“The large-scale gold sub-sector recorded its highest output in the country’s history in 2022,” Joshua Mortoti, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, told members at the annual general meeting.

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He said a combination of output and the expansion of production at existing mines drove the large-scale sector’s contribution to national gold output up by 13% to 3.1 million ounces last year from 2.7 million ounces in 2021.

Mortoti said member companies of the mines chamber had sold over 77,620 ounces of gold under the Domestic Gold Purchase Programme, a scheme launched by the Bank of Ghana to boost reserves.

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A 3.4% decline in South Africa’s mining production in the second quarter of 2022 was led by a decrease in gold and coal mining – gold production was down by 11.7% and coal by 5.7%, according to reports.

According to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), the domestic mining production decreased by 8.4% year-on-year in July 2022.

StatsSA said that largest negative contributors were gold (a decline of 19.7%, contributing -3.1 percentage points); platinum group metals (-12.2%, contributing -2.8 percentage points); and iron ore (-20.4%, contributing -2.7 percentage points).

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