Accra, Ghana — 27 July 2012 – Gold production in Ghana “’ Africa’s second largest gold producer “’ rose 64% in the first quarter of 2012 as higher prices led companies to boost operations, according to the country’s minerals commission.

Output in the period rose to 1.53Moz, commission CEO Ben Aryee said here in an interview with Bloomberg News. “High gold prices are motivating mining firms to up production,” he added. “New companies have also come on stream.”

Prices rose to an average of US$1,689/oz in the first quarter from US$1,389/oz for the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The higher rates make it profitable for mining companies to mine low-grade ore,” Aryee said.

Bauxite rose to 180,519t in the first quarter from 93,776t a year earlier,” he revealed.

Diamond output fell to 80,988cts from 94,602cts while manganese production declined to 401,250t from 481,965t.

Companies including AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Newmont Mining Corporation,  and Gold Fields Limited operate in the West African nation.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.