Africa has world’s largest in-situ reserves and resources of gold - According to a study by SNL Metals and Mining
A recent report on exploration trends over the last year has underlined gold’s attraction as the commodity of preference for global exploration dollars and Africa’s huge abundance of the yellow metal.
The study was carried out by SNL Metals and Mining for the period July 2015 to August 2016. Gold’s appeal was underpinned by the fact it commanded 45% of the world’s total exploration spend allocated over this period, at $3.94 billion.
The report also indicated that as at September 8, Africa had the highest in-situ value for reported reserves and resources at primary gold projects, with values totalling a mammoth $1.48 trillion (see figure below). Despite this, it was Latin America that accounted for the largest amount of planned and completed capital spending, with $5.58 billion to be invested in gold projects announced from the beginning of 2015 through the end of June this year.
The map below shows the most prospective areas in terms of large gold finds over the last 26 years, since 1990. It’s worthwhile to note the largest finds have emanated in the US, Canada, and Australia. Africa seems to be well represented in West Africa, where companies like Randgold Resources have been active, and where they will still be devoting much of their attention in the years ahead, particularly in the Ivory Coast.
Major gold discoveries since 1990
The report also revealed there had been very little fall off in exploration drilling in gold following the commodity slump of 2015. But in terms of drilling activity by region, it appears activity on the continent has been subdued.
So the question indirectly posed by the report for policy makers in Africa is, how do we encourage the realisation of in-situ resources and reserves by enabling and attracting investment?