Lowest Cost Gold Mines in Africa: Q1 2020 Update

B2Gold’s Fekola mine in Mali was the lowest cost gold operation in Africa in Q1 2020. Eight lowest cost mines were from West Africa.

In this report, Mines and Metals looked at costs at operating primary gold mines in Africa in Q1 2020 using all-in sustaining costs (AISC) metric that serves as a globally accepted benchmark of a mine’s operating efficiency.

Primary gold operations are defined by Mines and Metals as “mines where gold contributed to 90% or more of revenues from operating activities generated last year.”

The ranking excludes privately-owned mines, tailings re-processing operations and mines where the precious metal is produced as a by-product.

Fekola, B2Gold’s unique high-grade open-pit mine in Mali, tops the list of lowest cost gold mines in Africa. 15% in costs improvement achieved over the March Quarter 2020 brought gold AISC down to a $519/oz at this remarkable operation.

Fekola is followed by Semafo’s Natougou mine in Burkina Faso ($550/oz), which is the highest-grade open-pit gold mine in Africa, where AISC slightly increased by 3% over the Q1 2019 ($534/oz).

Cost-effective Ity mine owned by Endeavour Mining and located in Ivory Coast, is third lowest-cost gold mine in West Africa with AISC of $651/oz achieved in Q1 2020.

Resolute’s Mako mine, located in eastern Senegal, West Africa, is a high quality, low cost, open pit mine that poured first gold in January 2018. Mako is fourth lowest cost mine in Africa with AISC of $694/oz achieved in Q1 2020.

Caledonia Mining’s Blanket operation in Zimbabwe is fifth. AISC per ounce of gold was 20% lower ($753/oz) than in Q1 2019($943/oz) due to lower on-mine costs per ounce, the re-introduction of the export credit incentive and lower sustaining capital expenditure.

Newmont’s Akyem in Ghana is sixth on our list with AISC of $766/oz in Q1 2020.

Teranga’s new Wahgnion mine in Burkina Faso already shows outstanding results and sits seventh in the ranking with AISC of $767/oz in Q1 2020.

Barrick’s Kibali mine in DRC is eighth with AISC of $773/oz in Q1 2020. AISC were 15% higher compared to the same prior year period due to the higher total cash costs per ounce and increased sustaining capital expenditures.

Perseus’ Sissingue mine in Ivory Coast is ninth with AISC of $781/oz in Q1 2020. Another gold mine in Ivory Coast, Barrick’s Tongon operation, closing the top ten list.

Eight out of the top ten lowest cost mines in Africa located in West Africa. No mines from South Africa made the top ten list.

The complete list is below.

Lowest Cost Gold Mines in Africa – Q1 2020. Source: Mines and Metals.

MineCountryMajor owner / operatorQ1 2020 AISC, $/ozQ1 2019 AISC, $/oz% change
2Natougou-BoungouBurkina FasoSemafo5505343
3ItyIvory CoastEndeavour Mining651n/an/a
5BlanketZimbabweCaledonia Mining753943-20
7WahgnionBurkina FasoTeranga767n/an/a
9SGP (Sissingue)Ivory CoastPerseus7817534
10TongonIvory CoastBarrick788836-6

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