Turnover in Côte d’Ivoire’s mining sector jumped 24 per cent last year, boosted by a rise in gold production even as output of other metals languished because of low commodity prices, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
Turnover hit 479-billion CFA francs ($802.09-million) in 2015, up from 385-billion CFA in 2014, while gold production rose to 23.5-million tonnes, up from 20 t in 2014, government spokesman Bruno Nabagne Kone said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Gold was a bright spot for miners in the country where the commodity price slump has hampered development.
The world’s top cocoa grower hopes to develop its mining sector as part of efforts to diversify the economy after a decade-long political crisis.
Manganese output fell to 263 178 t in 2015, from 362 000 t the year before, Kone said. Diamond activity restarted in April 2014 and in 2015 about 13 lots of exports worth 13 900 ct earned about one-billion CFA francs.
“The mining sector in 2015 was strongly influenced by the significant drop in prices of all mining products. However, industrial production of gold is constantly growing,” Kone said, adding it aimed to increase gold output to 30 tonnes by 2020.
Two new gold mines and a new manganese mine are under construction, he said. By contrast, important iron, nickel and cobalt projects in the west of the country could be stalled because of low prices and logistical problems, Kone said.