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Ghana’s Bullion Production Seen Retreating 18% on Mining Cuts

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Gold output in Ghana, Africa’s largest producer after South Africa, may fall as much as 18 percent this year after declining prices prompted some mines to cut production, said Ben Aryee, head of the Minerals Commission.

Production retreated 6.4 percent in the second quarter to 1.021 million ounces from a revised 1.092 million ounces in the first quarter of 2013, Aryee, chief executive officer of the state-run mining regulator, said today in an interview in Accra, the capital.

“Gold volumes will definitely decline,” Aryee said. “The price slump is a matter of grave concern for the sector, companies are scaling down operations,” he said, without giving a production estimate in ounces for this year.

Ghana’s gold production climbed to 4.3 million ounces in 2012 from 3.6 million ounces the previous year as global prices rose for a 12th consecutive year. Prices slumped 19 percent this year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid signs economies are strengthening. Gold reached $1,180.50 an ounce in London on June 28, the lowest since August 2010.

Current price levels mean many companies “will have to lay off workers or close,” Aryee said.

Bauxite production fell to 193,876 metric tons in the second quarter from 249,114 tons in the first. Diamond output increased to 40,868.93 carats from 35,988.38 carats, while manganese production slowed to 323,299 tons from 434,240 tons, said Aryee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

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

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