World’s largest gold resources held in Africa

A new report by SNL Metals and Mining has found Africa holds the world’s largest in-situ resources of gold.

The report investigated exploration trends between July 2015 and August this year, highlighting gold as the key preference for miners. It found that gold accounted for 45 per cent of exploration expenditure during that time period, at a total of $3.94 billion, mineweb.com reports.

Africa was found to have the highest in-situ reserves and resources of gold, valued at almost US$1.5 trillion.

Latin America, had the largest spending on gold exploration, investing $5.6 billion in gold projects from the start of 2015 to June 2015.

Since 1990, the US, Canada, and Australia have discovered the largest finds.

Most of the major gold discoveries in Africa have been in West Africa, with companies such as Randgold Resources focusing particularly on the Ivory Coast.

Earlier this month, Harmony Gold and White Rivers Exploration discovered a major gold deposit in South Africa’s Witwatersrand Basin, with the deposit containing 11.5 million ounces of gold. It is expected to produce between 250,000 and 300,000 ounces per year for more than 30 years.

Australian miner West African Resources also discovered an ultra-high grade gold mineralisation at its M1 South Prospect in Burkina Faso this year. Drilling at its prospect returned results of 349.15 grams per tonne gold within 11 metres at 43.44 grams per tonne.

However, despite its rich resources, drilling on the continent is minimal.