Randgold, Newcrest Boost Ivory Coast Gold, Ministry Says

Gold production in Ivory Coast is forecast to increase 35 percent next year with Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) and Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) leading the growth, according to the Finance Ministry.

Output of the metal will climb to 20.1 metric tons from 14.9 tons this year, a document obtained from the Abidjan-based ministry, which is yet to be publicly released, shows. Randgold operates the Tongon mine in northern Ivory Coast and Newcrest produces gold in the central region of Bonikro.

The West African nation, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is forecasting a second consecutive year of economic growth in 2013 after a post-election crisis led to a 4.7 percent contraction last year. The biggest economy in the region’s eight-member currency union will expand 9 percent next year, government spokesman Bruno Kone said on Oct. 2. Growth this year is projected to be 8.6 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Output of cocoa will be little changed at 1.4 million tons in 2013 from 1.39 million tons this year, according to the document. Crude-oil production is projected to rise 11 percent to 29,260 barrels a day, while manganese output will jump 82 percent to 500,000 tons in the year, the document showed.

Charles Koffi Diby, the country’s finance minister, didn’t answer calls made to his mobile phone.

Coffee production in Ivory Coast, which jumped following the end of the post-election crisis, is forecast to drop 26 percent to 90,000 tons, according to the document. No reason was given for the decline. The country produces mainly the robusta variety, which is used in instant coffee.

Rubber output is seen rising 14 percent to 274,500 tons while palm-oil production will be up 10 percent to 429,000 tons, according to the ministry’s figures.

To contact the reporters on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net; Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan at bmieu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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