With no signs of slowing down, Ivory Coast’s gold mining industry has just received another boost.
This past January, the Ivorian federal government awarded gold prospecting licenses to three different companies. These companies will be searching for valuable gold ore deposits in eastern, northern, and southwestern Ivory Coast.
DS Resources JV Company’s new license allows it to prospect in Boundiali and Kouto, while Aucrest Sarl will be searching in Prikro and Koun Fao. Laoday Exploration won rights to explore in Buyo and Issia.
Mining in Ivory Coast has been booming in the last few years, and continues to scale into what will likely be one of the most productive places to mine gold in Africa. Production almost doubled between 2013 and 2015 alone, jumping from 13 tonnes to 23.5 tonnes of gold. Private industry and the Ivorian government aim to hit a target of at least 30 tonnes by 2020.
Why the sudden rush, and quick success?
Ivory Coast, like other African countries, sits on top of the Birimian Greenstone Belt, an extensive area of ancient rocks. But not just any type of rock. These types of belts, called “greenstone” for the colour caused by metamorphic processes, very frequently contain large deposits of valuable minerals, including gold.
With Ivory Coast's economy best known around the world for its cocoa production, and with political turmoil over much of its post-colonial history, the recent stability over the past few years combined with advances in technology has kickstarted a gold rush.
Gold mining is now a big industry in Ivory Coast. The Tongon mine alone employs thousands of workers and produces about 7.5 tonnes of gold annually. That production only begins to touch the surface.
With the need for major planning, including a design of the mine, then its construction, followed by a post-mining reclamation and remediation period, it can take 10-to-20 years from the discovery of a valuable gold ore deposit until production in the area is exhausted.
Ivory Coast is sitting on vast deposits of gold ore. For example, the Yoaoure mine near Yamoussoukro alone is estimated to contain at least 200 tonnes of gold. This means that the country will be enjoying all the economic benefits of mining for decades to come.
Is your mining company interested in this 21st century gold rush in Ivory Coast? Reach out to the team at John W Ffooks & Co; we’re proud to work for a number of mining and mining services companies, big and small.
Sources: Agence Ecofin, Côte d’Ivoire : le gouvernement octroie trois nouveaux permis de recherche aurifère (in French)
The Telegraph, Randgold Resources hit by sit-in at Ivory Coast mine
World Gold Council, How gold is mined