With lots of businesses being affected by the global pandemic, mining was not left out as it saw a big decline in revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.
According to data and analytics company GlobalData, the pandemic had a significant impact on Africa’s operations, mainly during the early part of the second quarter of the trading year, when, at one point, more than one-quarter of the region’s gold mines were on hold owing to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Despite the setback, the analysts say the future looks bright post coronavirus with West Africa’s leading Gold producers on the sub-region market Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2021 to eight-million ounces and is expected to grow to 8.4 million ounces by 2024 which is a 1.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Ghana is expected to be the originator of majority of the growth, with production expected to reach 3.9 million ounces in 2024 from a forecast of 3.6-million ounces in 2021.
The Associate Project Manager at GlobalDataVinneth Bajaj in a news release said “AngloGold’s Obuasi redevelopment project will be a key boost to production in West Africa in 2021.
The first phase has already been completed and the momentum of the second phase was maintained despite Covid-19 challenges. The project is expected to contribute up to 200,000 oz of gold production capacity and is anticipated to begin in 2021,”
Mr Bajaj noted that about 12 projects are currently under development across Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali, which are expected to be operational by 2024. These include the Bombore and Kiaka projects, in Burkina Faso; Obuasi Phase 2, in Ghana; and Kobada, in Mali.
According to a report by AfricaBriefing sighted by GhanaWeb, Although production in Ghana fell by 7.5 percent in 2020, the country experienced only a minimal impact on gold mining activities.
It was among the first few countries to resume operations post a 21-day mandatory lockdown across the major metropolitan cities announced during March 2020, notes the company.
Production in Mali fell by 5.6 percent in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 operational disruptions across several mines, including the closure of the Morila and Sadiola mines. The country initially continued business activities, despite the outbreak.
In contrast, production in Burkina Faso is estimated to have grown by 2.1 percent in 2020. Gold production in Burkina Faso is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8 percent, supported by 460,000 new gold production capacity.