Gold in Africa

History of Gold in Africa

History of Gold in Africa – Ancient Gold Mines in Africa.

Africa is a continent holding the biggest proportion of the world’s natural resources. Africa Is a base for 40 percent of the world’s mineral reserves with 40% of gold,8% of the world’s natural gas, 90% of platinum and chromium,12% of the world’s oil.

It holds the world’s largest reserves of diamond, platinum, uranium and cobalt. With gold being among one of the profitable natural mineral resource in the all world, Africa produces approximately 482 tons of gold, 22% of the world’s total population.

Ghana, South Africa, and Algeria are the leading producers of gold respectively taking 50% of Africa’s gold production, then followed by guinea, Mali and Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cote di’voire and Democratic Republic of Congo.

History of Gold in Africa

Gold in Africa was discovered in ancient times in Ghana, west of Africa in the 5th century, markets where then set up in the coastal towns trading with gold.

Trade caravan started crossing the Sahara Desert around the 8th century following rumors about the existence of gold at the coast.

Gold became the main commodity of the Tran-Saharan trade during that period and its demand kept on rising, increasing African interactions with the rest of the world and Ghana was referred to as the gold coast or land of gold.

In South Africa, gold was discovered at Pardekraal farm in 1852 by John Henry Davis a mineralogist. After presenting his findings to the president “Andries Pretorius”, he was ordered to sell gold which was worthy 600 pounds to the Transvaal Treasury and after he leaves the country.

Another finding was made by Pieter Jacob Marais at Jukskei River in 1853 who was also threatened to be killed if he had told any foreign power about his findings.

Wiwatersrand gold reef

In 1884, explorer Jan Gerrit Bantjes discovered Wiwatersrand gold reef after been prospecting the area for over 3years, however, he found minor reefs and the major reef is said to have been found by George Harrison in 1886. after news of gold findings had spread to the all-world, masses of citizens and prospectors from Australia and California flowed to Johannesburg.

Years later, entrance of foreigners increased which worried the president Paul Kruger by then that foreigners might outnumber the citizens and put in place measures to stop it.

In Democratic Republic of Congo, gold was first discovered by two Australian prospects in 1903 in the Angola River int North East and on Moto river north of Angola river. Gold exploitation in Congo started in 1905 and continued on an increased scale.

Colonial entrepreneurs exploited it through private companies which later introduced mining on a large scale. Most of these mining companies where taken over by the government after independence.

In Tanzania, gold was discovered in 1894 near lake Victoria at kirondatal during the German colonial period and at Sekenke in 1907 near tanganyika. Sekenke was the first gold mine to be opened in 1909 and kirondatal mine was opened in 1930.

Sekenke gold mine was the single large producer of gold when it was on high demand between 1930 and the second world war. kirondatal mine closed in 1950 after being active for 16 years producing only 7,268 ounces of gold.

Due to different factors, gold production reduced to the very minimal level by 1967 but later boomed in the mid-1970s after foreign mining companies invested in the development of gold deposits in Tanzania which led to opening a number of new mines.

Questions about the History of Gold in Africa:

Which country has the largest gold deposits in Africa?

Algeria has been accumulating gold deposits since 2000s making its reserves to be worthy per now over ten billion dollars making it a clear leader of gold reserves in Africa with over 174 metric tons of gold.

Which African country is known as the land of Gold?

Ghana was the first of the great west countries to discover gold on its land. Its wealth grew rapidly because of the coastal gold markets it opened.

Arab trade caravans crossed the Sahara Desert west Africa with salt, gold. gold crossed Sahara Desert to north Africa and middle east. Arab traders referred to Ghana as a land of gold.

Is there gold in Uganda?

Uganda has much more gold reserves in east Africa in different parts of the country but this does not make it the leading producer of gold, south Africa and Ghana are the kings of gold production in Africa.

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