With mining investments in Africa expected to climb from C$7-billion in 2006 to C$14-billion by 2010, the political stability offered by countries like Ghana make West Africa one of the more mining-friendly regions and should continue to encourage activity there. Ghana is Africa’s second-largest gold producer after South Africa and has an established democracy.
Much of West Africa’s gold comes from the Birimian greenstone belt on the West African Shield, home to the famous Ashanti gold belt. Big industry players like Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) and AngloGoldAshanti Ltd. (NYSE:AU), have been joined by juniors like Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ:GOLD) (Mali and Cote d’Ivoire), Keegan Resources Inc. (KGN)(Ghana), Red Back Mining Inc. (RBI/TSX)(Ghana, Mauritania and Cote D’ Ivoire), Golden Star Resources Ltd. (NYSEMKT:GSS)(Ghana), African Gold Group Inc. (Ghana and Mali) and several others.
African Gold and Keegan appear to be the most under-valued, according to Sam Kiri of Proactive Investors, which provides a wide range of information focusing on small cap companies.
Keegan is highly committed to Ghana and is seeking expansion opportunities, prefering acquisitions to joint ventures, Mr. Kiri noted, adding that it is “well-financed and is fast becoming a force to reckon with in the Ghana mining space.”
African Gold, meanwhile, has seen healthy levels of mined resources at its neighbour’s projects in Ghana. The company now control’s one of thost companies, Bonte Gold Mines.
However, with many in the industry seeing plenty of potential for more deposits and countries like Ghana still considered under-explored, the region should continue to garner attention.
In a report Mr. Kiri said:
Successful discoveries or advanced stage projects by these companies may well become acquisition or joint venture targets by larger companies leading to capital gain opportunities.