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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ghana H1 gold revenues surge 40%, output up 3%

Creamer Media's Mining Weekly Online

Ghana H1 gold revenues surge 40%, output up 3%
By: Reuters
Published: 22nd September 2008

Ghana's gold output rose 3%to 1,27-million ounces in the first six months of 2008, but higher prices pushed revenues up 40% to $1,1-billion, the Chamber of Mines data showed on Monday.

Ghana is Africa's second biggest gold producer after South Africa. It produced nearly 2,5-million ounces of the precious metal in 2007.

Average costs, driven by higher spending on electricity, rose sharply to $595/oz in the first quarter of 2008 and $602/oz in the second quarter, from an average $489/oz in 2007, the half-year report from the Chamber of Mines said.

The aggregated cash margin for Ghana's mines was up in the first half of 2008, to $298/oz in the first quarter and $294/oz in the second quarter of the year, compared with $199/oz for full year 2007.

Prices of gold on world markets have benefited from worries about the health of the global economy as investors seek safe assets, as which gold is often perceived.

Gold traded above $900/ozearlier this year, its highest in more than 20 years, and it has hovered in a range of $800-$900 for much of 2008, well above its $600-$800 trading band last year.

Ghana's biggest gold producer is the local unit of South African-listed Gold Fields. Its Tarkwa and Damang mines were responsible for 37% of Ghana's output in the first half of 2008.

AngloGold Ashanti was the second biggest producer with 20% of the country's output from its Obuasi and Iduapriem operations, followed by Newmont.

The data showed Ghana's manganese production fell 1% to 567 838 t in the first half of 2008 but revenues more than doubled to nearly $33-million due to a revision in marketing and pricing at the Ghana Manganese Company Limited.

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Ghana H1 gold revenues surge 40%, output up 3%

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