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In depth: Is the sun rising on West Africa’s mineral sector?

The mining sector in West Africa could be bouncing back after the downturn, SRK country manager and experienced geotechnical engineer John Kwofie tells MINING REVIEW AFRICA.

“Exploration activities in the West African sub-region have started picking up,” says Kwofie. “We’ve seen, for instance, how new mines are manageropening in Burkina Faso and interest in the mineral sector is increasing in Nigeria.” He also noted that the burgeoning oil sector in Ghana is off ering opportunities for the local provision of professional and technical services in, among others, the fi elds of social and environmental impact assessment.

SRK has been active in West Africa for decades, and established its Ghana practice in 2012; in line with its global business model, the practice is jointly owned and managed by experienced local professionals. Kwofie notes that although the depressed gold price has made life difficult for many mines in the region, there was still an encouraging stream of work across a range of disciplines.

“Among our recent contracts around Africa, we have been conducting slope stability work for mines in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso, and mine planning support services to a mine in Mali,” he states. “Our team has also been active on tailings dam management services for mines in Ghana.” He says his office’s mine operations support work had tended to dominate their workload as most exploration projects had been put on hold in recent years. The outbreak of Ebola in a number of West African countries last year has also taken its toll on business. The current…

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