ABIDJAN – Ivory Coast’s mining sector turnover rose by 11.5 per cent in 2017 on the back of increased exports of gold, manganese and nickel, government officials have said.
“The mining sector announced a sales revenue of 539 billion CFA francs ($1.02 billion) in 2017, compared to 483 billion in 2016,” government spokesman Bruno Nabagne Kone said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Manganese output rose by a whopping 146 per cent, reaching 510,000 tonnes in 2017. Gold output increased to 25.395 tonnes in 2017, 2.15 per cent higher than in 2016. Nickel production, which started in 2017, was at 379,766 tonnes.
Kone added that in 2017, Ivory Coast exported five shipments of diamonds worth 11,156 carats in total, earning $2.1 million.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is seeking to develop its long-neglected mining sector to diversify its sources of revenue.
Diamond activity resumed in April 2014, after the lifting of an international ban that had been in place because of wars and crises that divided the country between 2002-2011.
“Our country’s mining sector has a lot of potential. In a few years Ivory Coast will figure amongst the most important mineral producers on the continent.” he said.