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The Ghanaian Market
The mining industry accounts for about seven percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and mineral exports make up 42 percent of total merchandise exports. Over the past decade, the mining sector has consistently been the highest gross foreign exchange earner.
In 2011, export revenues from the mining sector amounted to over US $5billion. It currently contributes about 17.5 per cent of Ghana's total corporate tax earnings and 28.3 per cent of government revenue. About 28,000 people are employed in the large scale and mine support services industry while over 1,000,000 people are engaged in the small scale gold, diamond, sand winning and quarry industries.
Cumulative mineral revenue for the first half of 2012 was US$ 2, 757, 459, 946, up by 19% as against US$ 2,313, 415, 773 recorded in the half year of 2011.
"The impressive first half performance was largely on the back of the performance of mineral revenue from gold and bauxite, despite the dip in revenue from diamond and manganese".
Gold which has in recent times seen a remarkable increase in world price saw an appreciation of revenue by 20%. The metal recorded US$ 2,693, 986, and 461 for 2012, as against US$ 2, 236, 997, and 633 for the first half of 2011.
Gold production was up by 6%. This is attributed to the fresh production from Perseus Mining Ghana Ltd and Adamus Resources, which commenced production in the second quarter of 2011.
On the other hand, bauxite increased significantly by 82% on account of the substantial rise in shipments of the ore which went up by 71%.Shipments rose from 173, 601 tones in half year of 2011 to 295, 993 tones for the same period in 2012.
Diamond purchase dipped significantly by 33% from 185, 557 carats in the first half of 2011 to 123, 699 carats of the same period in 2012.
Manganese shipments saw decline by 25% and this translated in manganese revenue, which slumped by 24% from US$ 61, 489, and 236 in the first half of 2011 to US$ 46, 981, and 229 for the same period in 2012.
"The performance of the mining industry in the area of production six months down the year has been mixed but the generally significant increase in revenue confirms mining's continuous position as a key fortress for the country's economy" maintains.
The industry which has been a major contributor to the economy witnessed an increase in the overall minerals revenue, while output and shipments of some of the product segments recorded negative variances.
Source: Ghana Chamber of Mines
In the ECOWAS sub-region, the demand for industrial salt is estimated at over 3 million tones. Ghana and Senegal, the biggest regional players, possess all the right conditions for commercial salt production and together produce 350,000 tons per year. But this is not enough to satisfy demand and imports from Brazil, Australia and Europe make up the shortfall.
Also, Ghana produces 80 tonnes of gold per year making it the ninth (9th) largest gold in the world.