The Tarkwa operation
– one of two top-
producing gold mines
in Ghana
 
Accra, Ghana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 September 2008 – Ghana’s gold output rose 3% to 1.27 million ounces in the first six months of 2008, but higher prices drove revenues up by a substantial 40 % to US$1.1 billion (R8 25 billion), according to the country’s Chamber of Mines.

Ghana is Africa’s second biggest gold producer behind South Africa, and was responsible for the production of nearly 2.5 million ounces of the precious metal in 2007.

Quoting the Chamber’s half-year report, Reuters reports that average costs – driven by higher spending on electricity – rose sharply to US$595/oz in the first quarter of 2008 and US$602/oz in the second quarter, from an average US$489/oz in 2007. The aggregated cash margin for Ghana’s mines was up to US$298/oz in the first quarter of 2008 and US$294/oz in the second quarter of the year, compared to US$199/oz for 2007.

The news agency reports that prices of gold on world markets have benefited from worries about the health of the global economy as investors seek safe assets, which gold is often perceived to be. Gold traded above US$900 per ounce earlier this year, its highest in more than 20 years, and it has hovered in a range of US$800-US$900 for much of 2008, well above its US$600-US$800 trading band last year.

Ghana’s biggest gold producer is the local unit of South African-listed Gold Fields. Its Tarkwa and Damang mines were responsible for 37% of Ghana’s output in the first half of 2008.

AngloGold Ashanti was next with 20% of the country’s output from its Obuasi and Iduapriem operations, followed by Newmont.

Reuters says Ghana’s manganese production fell 1% to 567 838 tonnes in the first half of 2008, but revenues more than doubled to nearly US$33 million (R250 million) due to a revision in marketing and pricing at the Ghana Manganese Company Limited.