CAPE TOWN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM.N) expects to more than double its African gold production to 1.2 million ounces by 2015, driven by its projects in Ghana, a senior executive said on Tuesday.
Adriaan van Kersen, group executive African operations, said the company expected board approval in March for an investment of $700 million to $1 billion to develop its Akyem project, which was seen producing its first ore at the end of 2013 or start of 2014.
“Between now and 2015 the African region is going to be grown from 500,000 to about 1.2 million ounces,” Van Kersen said at an African mining conference in Cape Town.
Besides Ghana, Newmont had an African presence in the Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
In Guinea it was involved in a joint venture with top global miner BHP Billiton (BHP.AX)BLY.LBILJ.J to exploit the Nimba iron ore project, located on the border between the Ivory Coast, Guinea and Liberia.
“For the project to economic and see day light, the iron ore has to be transported via Liberia,” Van Kersen said.
He said Newmont and BHP were currently negotiating transport agreements with the governments of Guinea and Liberia, with whom they enjoyed “good” relations. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Marius Bosch)