Over time, Asia and Europe have been known to be the largest producers of gold in the World. However, this has significantly changed with time. Recently, the World Bank report indicated that Africa had made significant improvement by producing half of the global gold reserves. We know you are wondering how and which countries are leading in producing it in Africa right now. Well, this article helps to solve the puzzle.
In case you have never known, South Africa has always been the largest producer of gold in Africa for a long time. Gold mining in South Africa (SA) stated as early as the 1880s. The country is said to hold as much as 35% of the resource. Sometimes back, it was ranked first in the World. With time, the country has had a bad experience with mining of the mineral because of various environmental reasons. Since 2010, the country has been recording a percentage drop in the production of the resource, which is very worrying. It risks being toppled by Ghana if the trend continues.
Which country is the largest producer of gold in Africa?
Currently, SA leads in the metal production followed closely by Ghana then Tanzania, Mali, Burkina Faso, among many others. While some people believe that Ghana is the leading producer, there is little information proving the fact.
In most instances, most of this precious metal is mined in Boksburg which is in the eastern part of the country’s capital city. The mine is said to be the deepest as compared to others in the continent. It is 11,700 feet deep. A report published by Forbes in 2018, ranked SA 8th in the World. During the year, it produced 139.9 tonnes. Even though this is low as compared to what China and Canada produced, there is still hope of improving her production this year. However, Ghana might have more significant improvement as compared to South Africa.
Reports have it that Ghana’s precious metals industry contributes up to 5% of the country’s GDP. Most investors are shifting their attention to Ghana because the industry seems promising. Last year, SA was ahead of Ghana by 39 tonnes in production.
Where is the most gold found in Africa?
South Africa being the leader of gold production in Africa, it means that most of the gold is found there. However, the resource is not evenly distributed in the country. Researchers have confirmed that most of the metal is available for mining at Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 2011, the basin provided 40% of the total resource production. The mine has enormous tunnels that can take workers up to two hours to move from the surface to its most in-depth mine sections.
Apart from Witwatersrand, the country has another largest mine known as Mponeng. Precisely, the mine is located in Gauteng Province. Experts estimate that the shaft is extending 2.5 miles underneath. Interestingly, the mine contributes to over 5400 metrics per day. Yes. This mine is thought to contain two reefs hence its output.
How deep are the gold mines in South Africa?
As mentioned earlier, Mponeng is among the deepest mine in SA. It might shock you to realize that most of the mines in the area are approximately 4 kilometers! In other words, this precious metal is found very deep inside the rocks. The miners have to dig deeper by the help of machines before extracting the resource. For instance, Tau Tona tends to be the deepest in the region— as compared to Mponeng and the surrounding mines in Johannesburg.
So far, South Africa remains the leading gold producer in Africa. Unless countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and the rest strategize on how to topple it, SA will remain the leader for as long as they can be able to. However, again, it is not long before South Africa drops further in the rank because it has already done before. Pollution resulting from mining and other factors are making it so difficult for the country to rise any further above the list.