Ghana’s mining history, particularly gold, dates back to the fifteenth century. The industry was very vibrant during the pre-independence period when mining policy was largely geared towards assisting and promoting the maximization of mineral production in the interests of the colonial powers. Therefore, for example, Ghana accounted for 36% of total world gold output (8,153,426 fine ounces) between 1493 and 1600 when there were more than thirty gold mines in operation. But its share of world mineral output dwindled subsequently due to variations associated with global supply and demand and the influence of the two (2) world wars.
The post-independence period was marked by state ownership of mineral resources. The period up to 1983 was generally characterized by stagnation of the industry, except for a few spikes recorded immediately after independence and in the early 1970s. The abysmal performance in production, particularly in the gold sector, was a result of global market conditions and investor uncertainty about the safety of their investment under Ghanaian self-rule, rundown of equipment due to the unavailability of foreign exchange to purchase the much needed spare parts for mine equipment and machinery among others.