2020 seems to have been watershed years for commodity markets: Gold played out to its reputation as the most trusted store of value, investors narrowing in on bullion and gold stocks at the height of the crisis. By contrast, economic pessimism put a damper on metals associated with car sales and industrialization. Yet, come 2021 and an imperfect reversal happened: gold is seeing a slide-back whereas industrial metals are making a strong return.
After a disruptive 2020 that sent gold prices through the roof, West Africa, the world’s second-largest gold producing region after China, is getting bigger, growing beyond the Ghana-Mali-Burkina Faso geographies, but also beyond gold. Guinea is already known as the world’s second-largest bauxite producer, and Niger has also made a name as the fifth biggest uranium producer. The region also holds other untapped energy and base metals which have an opportunity to come to the surface.
The centuries’ long history of gold production in Ghana, coupled with the impressive discoveries-turned-successful mines in Burkina Faso and Mali in the last decade have put other countries in the region on the gold map, explorers drawing geological parallels along the Birimian belt. Today, West African gold prospects stretch north-to-south from Mauritania to Equatorial Guinea, crossing new mining jurisdictions like Senegal, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, or Cameroon.