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The Biggest Gold-Producing Countries in Africa

Which Are The Biggest Gold-Producing Countries in Africa? Africa has always been known to be the source of raw materials and a continent rich with many natural resources. And when it comes to gold production, Africa accounts for more than 600 tons yearly.

Africa is now currently the second largest gold-producing region in the world after China. And West Africa in recent years has become home to three of the top five gold-producing countries on the African continent.

How much gold does Africa produce?

According to, the total gold mine production in Africa amounted to 680.3 metric tons in 2021. This figure represents an increase of roughly 0.5 per cent in comparison to the previous year.

Ghana, one of the world’s leading countries in gold production, and the number one producer in Africa produced approximately 118 metric tons of gold in 2021. The first gold mines in Africa were in South Africa, however, discovered in 1886. Gold mining is a major source of employment in South Africa, and was once the largest part of the South African economy.

The Biggest Gold-Producing Countries in Africa

Here are the five African countries enjoying the position as the biggest producers in Africa

Ghana: 117.6 tons

Currently, the leading African gold-producing country and sixth in the world is Ghana, with the country’s gold production amounting to a total of 117.6 tons in 2021. Comprising roughly 90% of the West African country’s total mineral exports and 49% of its total export value, Ghana is considered one of the most prolific regions of gold discoveries in the world, with its Bibiani Shear Zone hosting multi-million-ounce gold deposits.

South Africa: 100 tons

Accounting for 4.2% of global gold production, South Africa’s gold production was reported at 100 tons in December 2021. Despite dwindling production in recent years, causing the country to lose its top spot to China in 2006, the southern African country is home to a total of 86 gold mines, including the world’s largest gold resource: the Witwatersrand Basin. The country is also home to the Mponeng Gold Mine, the deepest in the world, as well as the South Deep Gold Mine, the largest in terms of reserves. Despite the country’s diminishing production, South Africa is still estimated to hold 6,000 tons of gold, the second largest reserve base in the world, with new exploration campaigns having recently been launched to increase production even further.

Sudan: 93 tons

While the majority of Sudan’s mineral reserves remain underdeveloped, mining in the East African country contributes approximately 4% to its GDP, with gold serving as the primary driver. Gold in the country is found primarily within the Eriab region of the Nuba Mountains, and through the quartz vein formation in the Obaidiya, Blue Nile and North Kurdufan regions, with Sudan’s notable gold mines including the Hassai Gold Mine and the Block 14 open pit mine project, situated in the Red Sea Hills desert and Nubian Desert, respectively.

Mali: 63.4 tons

Accounting for 80% of the country’s total exports in 2021, gold represents the country’s most important export, accounting for nearly 10% of its GDP. The country’s is home to approximately 350 artisanal gold mining sites, with more than two million people – over 10% of the country’s population – dependent on the mining sector as a primary source of income.

Burkina Faso: 45 tons

Possessing one of the most dynamic mining sectors in the region, with major resources including copper, zinc, limestone, manganese and phosphate, Burkina Faso’s gold mining industry has grown steadily over the last decade. A primary source of income for a large portion of the country’s population, Burkina Faso’s approximately 440 gold mining sites have resulted in the employment of over 430,000 people. The country’s largest gold mines include the Kalsaka, Youga, Karma, Mana, Yaramoko, Taparko-Boroum, Essakane and Inata Gold Mines.

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