Mining in West Africa describes recent events in the regional mining sector, generic and country-specific regulations and the impact of the reduction in commodity prices. Investments into the mining sector and other corporate actions are listed, and factors influencing the success of the industry are discussed. The report profiles 55 mining companies including ERAMET, through its subsidiary Comilog, which is the second-largest producer of high-grade manganese ore in the world, and Areva which produced 1,988t of uranium in Niger. Also profiled are Ghanaian miner, Abosso Goldfields Ltd and Bellzone Mining Plc, which mines iron ore in Guinea where it is currently involved in exploration for copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, chrome and platinum.
The Mining Sector in West Africa
This report focuses on the mining sector in West Africa where an extensive established mining industry already exists. The region supplied 10% of the world’s manganese ore, 9% of its gold, 8% of its bauxite and 7% of its uranium during 2014, with the majority of the minerals being exported for further processing. As West Africa hosts significant volumes of unexploited mineral resources including iron ore, gold and uranium, the region is viewed as an area filled with mining potential. A large number of companies are involved in the region’s mining sector, including major companies like Rio Tinto, Glencore, United Company (UC) Rusal, Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti, Vale and ArcelorMittal.
In the light of forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of overall growth of more than 5% per annum in West Africa over the next three years, investments into the sector have been made. However, doing business can be difficult; infrastructure is poor with the huge infrastructure deficit being described as “a potential bottleneck for mining development,” electricity supply is unreliable and inconsistent, and there are social, political and security risks.