For decades, South Africa was the world’s largest gold producer. Its operations in gold mining began in the 1880s when gold was first discovered in Witwatersrand area in the Gauteng Province.
Recently, however, that has been changing. South Africa’s gold industry has been experiencing a slowdown with gold output declining. While this has been the scenario for South Africa, many countries have been ramping up their production. China dethroned South Africa as the leading gold producer globally, having more than doubled its gold mine production. South Africa, on the other hand, cut its production in half pushing it from position one to seventh on the global scale.
The Cyril Ramaphosa led state has yet again lost a position it has long held ‘Africa’s leading gold producer’ to Ghana.
A report released by the World bank reveals Ghana is currently the first-largest gold producer in Africa. From its 2018 data records, Ghana exported 158 tons of gold, a 15 percent increase from the previous year. Ghana has thus unseated South Africa which produced 139.3 tonnes in 2018.
The World Bank also noted that four rural regions of Ghana are currently affected by environmental damage and pollution as a result of destructive artisanal mining and logging practices. The four areas are set to benefit from a scale-up of the Ghana Forest Investment Program.
The World Bank last week approved additional financing of USD 19.39 Mn to the programme.
The programme is already executing activities focusing on agricultural drivers of deforestation by working with cocoa farmers and communities to rehabilitate and protect forest reserves.
The additional financing operation aims at complementing these activities by piloting approaches to and benefits of reclamation of mining sites. This will help reduce erosion that is currently polluting public watercourses.
The private sector will also be engaged in plantation development in a move to reduce pressure on natural forests.