ACCRA- Ghana’s gold output fell 7 percent in the first nine months of 2016 to 1.9 million ounces compared with the same period the previous year, data from the Ghana Chamber of Mines showed on Tuesday.
The main reason for the fall was a decline in production at AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mine at Obuasi in Ashanti region.
Thousands of staff were laid off in 2014 when the Obuasi plant was effectively mothballed due to high production costs for its deep lying reserves of gold and output there fell from 45,000 ounces in 2015 to 3,000 ounces the following year.
Ghana is Africa’s second-largest gold miner after South Africa and it earned $2.34 billion in the first nine months compared with $2.35 billion in the same period in 2015, the Chamber said. The top mines for the period were South Africa’s Gold Fields and Newmont Gold Corporation.
Ghana is following an International Monetary Fund programme to restore fiscal stability. Growth fell in 2014 partly because of lower global prices for its gold and oil exports.
The gold industry was also hit by a domestic energy crisis that raised the cost of production. Combined with the slump in prices, it forced companies to cut output and send hundreds of employees home.