For decades, Southern Ghana has been and still is considered one of the world’s most prolific regions for gold discoveries, with both gold producers and explorers enjoying tremendous success there. In terms of gold production, Ghana produced approximately 90 tonnes of gold in 2014 (Figure 9), making it one of the top 10 gold producing countries in the world. Ghana’s annual gold-mining revenues fell in recent years, dropping 17.4 percent in 2014, to $3.8 billion, due to a decline in output and a lower gold price.
Figure 9
In spite of the drop in revenues, the mining sector today continues to be an important sector for the Ghanaian economy. Figure 10 shows that Ghana broadly conforms to the inverted pyramid pattern of macroeconomic contributions seen in other low- and middle-income mineral-driven countries.
Figure 10 - National Contribution of Mining Chart
Mining-related FDI, as shown in Figure 11, is over 50 percent of Ghana’s total FDI inflow, and mining exports grew by more than 400 percent since 2005.
Figure 11 - FDI
The mining sector has therefore been important for Ghana as it provided the necessary foreign exchange reserves and supported the country’s balance of payments position. Mining exports contribution to overall exports (Figure 12) has averaged around 41 percent of overall exports since 2005 and was 37 percent in 2013.
Figure 12 - Mining Exports Overall Contribution
With the increase in mining activity by over 14% year on year, last year showed a more stable condition. However, the overall growth had tapered off by the effect of a weaker price environment.

While many experts had expected the weaker price environment to lead to mine closures, large scale mining producers opted to cut costs and focus on innovation rather than shut down their operations entirely. Producers have taken diverse approaches to making such cost reductions, including lowering salaries and reducing employees. But perhaps the most common approach has been to cut down on exploration. Many gold producers directed a majority of their resources towards innovating their existing operations rather than searching for gold elsewhere.

Despite this slowdown within the mining sector in 2016 and previous years, the recent surge in gold prices suggests a possible turnaround in the industry and a brighter outlook for 2017 and onwards.