An important announcement on ghana’s gold industry

Tue, 6 Sep 2016 Source: Lawrence M K Akakpo

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Gold was discovered, (circa) ca. BC/BCE 6,000 in Egypt (Cramb, Alan W, A Short History of Metals, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University). It was the first and by far the earliest metal discovered and utilised by humans as a result of its excellent reflectivity (throws back almost 100% of light incident on it); non-perishability (cannot be dissolved by any single strong acid or alkali); has highest malleability (can be beaten into very thin flat sheet without a hole) and has the best ductility (can be drawn to long hair-thin wire without breaking); it is attractive, sectile; among others properties. It was followed by discovery of copper ca. BC 4,200 (a gap of 1,800 years between) and silver ca, BC 4,000.

The metal’s unique properties (few enumerated above), together with its scarcity won it divine names and attributes: the metal for the gods by the gods; the Incas of South America called it the sweat of the sun; the Egyptians called it, the breath of gods. In Ghana, Asantehene’s (King of Asante’s) soulmates (selected males born on the same day of the week as he was born) wear gold shields and gold plated or decorated helmets, to ward off any evil directed towards the King. The ancient world contention was that being touched on your body by physical gold wards off evil spirits. With large amount of gold in your possession (buried with you) paves the way directly to heaven when you die. That was why the kings, emperors, pharaohs, etc. were lavishly buried with gold artefacts. Physical gold has special place in all ancient religions – Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.

The availability of gold’s worldwide production statistics started from the Copper Age, ca. BC 3,900. The records available showed that for the Copper Age (BC 3900-BC 2,000), a period 1,900 years, Egypt was the world’s largest gold producer. Its gold was described as “plenty as the sand”. During the Bronze Age (BC 2,100-BC 1,200), a period of 900 years, Nubia, the modern Sudan was the world’s largest gold producer. From the Iron Age through the Roman Empire (BC 1,200-AD 500), a period of 1,700 years, Iberia, modern Spain was the world’s largest gold producer. It was followed by India as the world’s largest producer for the period of AD 500-1,000 or 500 years. West Africa or the Guinea Coast or the Gold Coast (the Modern Ghana) followed from the Middle Ages, AD 1,000 to part of the Modern Age, AD 1,600, as the world’s largest gold producer. From AD 1493 to 1600 a period of about 130 years, Ghana was on average responsible for 35.5% of the entire world’s production. For detailed statistics on the world production, see Akakpo, L M K, The Metal Gold: Properties, World Production Statistics BC 3,900 – AD 2,009, Units of Measurement & Trading and the Uses; Xlibris Corporation, USA; 2010; Page 79-80. See also: Quashie, L A K, Report of the Committee for Increased Gold Output in Ghana, Accra, Ghana, December, 1980.

Ghana started gold production in the Bronze Age, that was from ca. BC 2,100 continuously to date (AD 2,016) and is now among the world’s first 10 largest producers. For greater part of last century it was the fifth largest producer after: South Africa, the then Soviet Union, Canada and the United States, in that order. That makes its production over 4,000 years continuously. All the countries which started gold production before Ghana were: Egypt, Nubia (Sudan), Ethiopia, Iberian (Spain), Arabia, Asia Minor or the modern Turkey and India. They started production during the Copper Age, BC 3,900 and all fell off the radar. All Ghana’s contemporaries in production were: Gaul (France), Great Britain, Italy, Carpathians (part of Eastern Europe) and China. Once again they all fell off from the production radar. China is an interesting point. It fell off the production league for very long period of time, over a millennium for a number of reasons but restarted production on small scale from late 1960s. The production expanded so much that in 2007, it has de-thrown South Africa, the world’s largest producer for over a century and the world’s greatest producer ever recorded, (produced 1,000.4 tonnes in 1970 alone), to become the world’s number one producer. It still holds on to the position to date (2016).

On the account of all the above facts and statistics:


The above declaration may sound grand. The saddest facts are that:

1. Ghana has nothing to show for the over 4,000 years of its gold production. The country is now at the height of its gold being plundered by the unscrupulous transnational gold mining corporations and the World Bank Group, aided and abetted by few corrupt and incompetent Ghanaians and the two state owned newspapers in the country: the Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times. The two papers will never publish anything from me and perhaps from others that exposes the high degree of looting of Ghana’s gold. They have no problem writing to praise the mining companies plundering the country telling lies in doing so. I will soon come out with the details on this and a lot more when my website under development is finished. The looting is wrapped up in propaganda and lies! Take for example, on the 24 June 2016, Business page of Ghanaian Times came this statement in big bold letters: “The Mining Industry last year, paid GH¢ 463.12 billion in taxes to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the [Ghana] Chamber of Mines, has announced”. The trouble with the statement was that GH¢ 463.12 billion was equivalent to $120.92 billion at last year’s average exchange rate of GH¢3.83 to $, which was more than twice Ghana’s annual GDP. I wrote to challenge both the CEO and the Editor of Ghanaian Times for publishing lie. None of them was a man enough to apologise to the Ghanaian public. In fact it was the second time the CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines presented dodgy, if not outright fabricated statistics to Ghanaians and the world this year. The first was his reply to African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) in an attempt to exculpate the mining companies charged with looting the country’s gold industry, in what has become known as: “Out of $23billion from gold, Ghana gets 7%”.

In the Secret World of Gold, the metal was described as: The ultimate guarantor of a nation’s survivor. In the same video was enacted the golden rule: THOSE WITH GOLD RULE! Yet we have the gold but are being the slaves! Surely, we must come together and bring the criminal fraternity to an end!

2. As if the above fact is not depression enough, Ghana’s gold industry has far less than 50 years lifespan for the fire to extinguish permanently! (See http://vibeghana.com/2011/02/22/ghanas-gold-to-finish-within-next-50-years/)

Lawrence M K Akakpo, Mining Engineer & Analyst; also Mathematician (retired as senior lecturer in mathematics, London); Author of 256-page book: THE METAL GOLD: Properties, World Production Statistics: BC 3,900 – AD 2009, Units of Measurements & Trading and the USES.

Source: Lawrence M K Akakpo