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bird TenX: Africa’s 10 largest gold producers

AFRICAN states are riding the wave of a gold rush, with global prices stabilising and mining technologies advancing. Here are the continent’s ten largest gold-producing powerhouses per tonnage (t), according to the World Gold Council’s latest stats.

1. Ghana – 127t
Known as the “Gold Coast”, Ghana is Africa’s largest gold producer. The country has a rich history of gold mining, dating back to the 15th century, and today, gold mining is a major part of its economy, contributing over 40% of its total export earnings.

2. Mali – 101t
Mali’s gold mining industry, a crucial part of its economy, traces back to the time of ancient empires. Notably, the country was part of the historic Mali Empire, once a vibrant hub on the trans-Saharan gold trade route.

3. Burkina Faso – 96t
This West African nation has seen a gold rush in the 21st century, with production increasing dramatically in the last decade. Gold mining in Burkina Faso has become pivotal in sustaining the country’s economy but also faces challenges such as illegal mining.

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4. South Africa – 92t
Once the world’s top gold producer (producing 616t in 1993), South African gold mines are among the deepest and most labour-intensive in the world. The country’s gold mining industry dates back to the late 19th century, contributing significantly to the development of Johannesburg, also known as eGoli, the “City of Gold”.

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5. Sudan – 80t
Surprised? Well, Sudan’s gold mines are a key source of income, especially following the secession of South Sudan. Artisanal mining accounts for the majority of Sudan’s gold production, presenting both opportunities and challenges for local communities.

6. Guinea – 63t
Gold mining in Guinea contributes significantly to the country’s economy, with much of its production coming from the Siguiri region. The sector has attracted foreign investment but also grapples with environmental and social challenges.

7. Tanzania – 50t
Tanzania’s gold mining industry is a critical part of its economy, contributing over 4% to its GDP. The country boasts large-scale gold mines, including the famous Geita Gold Mine, one of the largest gold mines in Africa.

8. Zimbabwe – 49t
Zimbabwe’s gold mining dates back to the pre-colonial era. The country possesses vast gold reserves, and mining is vital for its economy. However, the industry faces issues such as a lack of investment and political instability.

9. Côte d’Ivoire – 48t
A relative newcomer in large-scale gold mining, Côte d’Ivoire’s production has grown rapidly in the last decade. Its gold mining sector is seen as a beacon of economic hope and attracts significant foreign investments.

10. Democratic Republic of the Congo – 44t
Known more for its vast mineral wealth including diamonds and copper, the DRC is also a significant gold producer. The country’s mineral-rich eastern regions have both industrial-scale gold mines and small-scale artisanal operations, often overshadowed by challenges like conflict and illegal mining.

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bird’s TenX is brought to you by bird story agency, a specialist news agency and project of Africa No Filter designed to change the narrative on Africa.

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By SETH ONYANGO, BIRD STORY AGENCY

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