Expansion projects in the mining sector pushed the country’s gold production to 2,931,131 million ounces in the first nine months of last year, official data from the Minerals Commission has shown.
Quite significantly, active gold miners operating in the country, including Gold Fields, Newmont, Asanko Gold Mines, and Golden Star Resources have all shown signs of increasing production through the injection of new capital.
On that same positive trend, output from Manganese recorded 1,313,082 million metric tonnes while diamond and bauxite recorded 101,022 carats and 961,017 metric tonnes respectively during the period under review.
Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Dr. Toni Aubynn, told the B&FT in an interview that going by the figures, he anticipates a rise in gold production this year.
He said: “We expect 2017 to be a positive year. We expect that production will go up. I will not be able to tell you exactly how much but we expect production to go up slightly above 2016 figures.
We have very positive expectations for this year and my expectations steams from the fact that there are huge investments by gold production companies.
The future, in a few years, looks good for gold production; we are also upbeat about the price. We are not expecting the price to go down as much as it did three years ago. We believe that potentially is good.”
Dr. Aubynn said: “When it comes to gold prices, I am very careful because you need to have the insight to look deep into the crystal ball before you can make the prediction. However, the World Bank is looking at a positive gold price this year”.
The Minerals Commission boss was hopeful that uncertainties in the international market, including the United States and the United Kingdom, in relation to President Donald Trump and Brexit, collectively paint a good outlook for gold prices on the world market in the future.
“Investors in developed countries such as America and Britain tend to push their funds into gold deposits anytime uncertainties are rife on major stock markets.
In recent times, a similar instance happened during Brexit when investors moved their funds into gold deposits, causing demand to go up, hence prices also increasing.”
He added: “New American president’s policies against foreign businesses are enough to create uncertainties that may increase gold prices.
America has a new president who is completely a non-establishment person. He doesn’t come from the political establishment so people are not sure which direction and policies he will [follow], which is good. It is good because you can’t always be predicted but for gold it is even better because gold thrives well in situations of uncertainty not in the same country but in other countries.”
Dr. Aubynn explained that investors are very analytical and risk averse hence will always respond to speculation to secure their investment, adding that gold has been a safe investment for investors anytime situations on the stock market get volatile.
“Investors will always get edgy which may be good for gold since price of the commodity will go up once demand increases.
When there are uncertainties in America, gold benefits; when there are uncertainties in Europe, gold benefits; and when there is Brexit and people are unsure, gold benefits. So, we hope to take advantage of that. The issue of Brexit is not settled so that creates some uncertainty,” he said.