|Why West Africa?|
West Africa or Western Africa (UN sub-region) is the westernmost region of the African continent.
It covers an area of approximately 5 million km2, constituting approximately one fifth of the African continent, and comprises 16 countries.
The western and southern borders of the West African region are formed by the Atlanic ocean. The northern section of West Africa is composed of semi-arid terrain known as Sahel, a transitional zone between the Sahara and the savannahs of the western Sudan. Forests form a belt between the savannas and the southern coast, ranging from 160 km to 240 km in width1.
Central & West African Iron Ore
Evidence from exploration activities carried out in the sub-region by a number of explorers indicate that the iron ore projects from Central and West Africa are in all likelihood associated to the iron ore provinces of Brazil, and they share similar mineralisation styles.
West African Gold
Historically the region has produced and delineated over 280Moz of gold. This includes eight gold deposits of over 5Moz each – the total rising to 11 if historical production is included. Mine gold production in the region has grown at a compounded annual rate of 4% over the past nine years.
Mineralization is associated with greenstone belts similar to the Canadian and Western Australian shields. Some of the world’s most prolific mines are on greenstone belts. These belts cover about 3,000,000 km2 of West Africa, making the areas exploration potential substantial.
Burkina Faso currently accounts for 22% of West Africa’s greenstone belt exposure. Approximately, thirteen Australian mining companies are currently active in this area.
1Wikipedia; 2RBC Capital Markets Equity Research - Africa iron Ore: Evaluating project quality and global supply risk (July 2012)