IN 1997, when Randgold Resources listed on the London Stock Exchange, about 2.5% of world gold production was being dug in West Africa, of which most was from Ghana. In contrast, South Africa produced more than 15% of total world production.
Two decades later, just as Barrick Gold absorbed Randgold Resources in a merger that left a gaping hole in London’s gold investment market, the picture could hardly be more different.
West Africa comprised 12.5% of world gold output, largely owing to major new mineral discoveries in the francophone regions of Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. South Africa had become a relative minnow in the gold mining stakes, worth only 3.2% of world production, according to data from the Minerals Council South Africa.
The prognosis of those invested there is that the West African region will grow its production base further. “West Africa will overtake China in the near future,” says Sébastien de Montessus, CEO of Endeavour Mining, a company whose ambition is to become London’s go-to gold share, filling the vacancy left by Randgold in 2019.
Six of the world’s largest gold producers by market capitalisation have a presence in the West African region. “I expect it to grow faster than other regions of the world.”
For the rest of this article: https://www.miningmx.com/top-story/47434-west-africas-political-whirligig-wont-keep-investment-dollars-from-its-gold/