Business News of 2013-12-17

Over 3,000 mine workers laid off

According to the Ghana Mine Workers Union, over 3,000 workers have been laid off by the country's mining companies due to a fall in the world market price for gold.

The General Secretary of the Union, Prince William Ankrah, told Joy News the situation could get worse if nothing changes.

"We are likely to see another four hundred plus [in job losses] over the next year", said Mr William Ankrah, citing Gold Fields Ltd and the Tarkwa Mines as the most likely mining companies to reduce work force.

The swift fall in gold prices has significantly ravaged hopes and livelihoods around the world. Other workers in Ghana's mining firms to be affected by job cuts include auditors, bankers and analysts in the finance capitals.

Around the world also, Investors who bet big and lost are shifting assets elsewhere and scaling back retirement plans. After peaking at $1,921.15 an ounce in September 2011, gold fell to as little as $1,180.50 in June this year, the lowest since 2010, before recovering to $1,321.67.

Analysts are predicting that the price will average $1,000 in 2014 and $840 in 2015 because a stronger U.S. economy will limit gold’s appeal.