Tax & Financial Consulting Services
Gold Coast's Trophy Asset
Karibu (Welcome) G&G Readers,
They call it the "Golden Stool."
Legend has it that this gold-covered bench descended from the heavens to land in the lap of the first king. Wars have been fought over it. No one is allowed to sit on it... New kings are designated by lowering and raising them over the stool without touching it. Few people have even seen the original. Only the king and a few advisors know where it is kept. Instead, the leaders use replicas in public.
The most sacred relic of the ancient Ashanti Empire, the 18" x 24" x 12" golden seat symbolizes the extraordinary wealth and power gold mines bestowed on this West African tribe.
In the 15th century, Europeans searching for a sea route to India stumbled across this small stretch of land in Africa... For nearly 500 years, up until the mid-20th century, they fought over it as one of the world's great "trophy" assets.
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The Portuguese got there first... From 1430 to 1480, Portuguese explorers felt their way south around West Africa. Storms lashed the ships along the treacherous coastline. Simple trips inland for fresh water and food proved fatal.
After one strong storm, a group of sailors observed something remarkable... women and children of the village combing the beaches not for shells, but for grains of gold washed out of the rivers.
Confronted with a river that literally ran with gold... the Portuguese traders took the next logical step: They settled in to get rich. They chose an area between the Ankobra and Volta Rivers. In 1482, they built Fort Sao Jorge da Mina de Ouro (which means Saint George of the Gold Mine).
The Portuguese named their castle after a mine because the area held gold... the richest mines in Africa at the time. The arrival of these Scavengers (Europeans) brought centuries of war over this land and its gold. The British, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Danish, and the Ashanti were among the groups who battled for control of the land... which grew to be known as the "Gold Coast."
It took the Europeans a long, long time to subjugate the Ashanti Empire. Naturally, the Ashanti were partial to keeping their land instead of abandoning it to raiders.
The winner in the battle for the Gold Coast, like many of Africa's richest resources, was the British Empire. The British used the area around the fort as a base to export gold, iron ore, diamonds, and agricultural products.
Despite centuries of production, the Gold Coast's mines are far from exhausted. To this day, this area, now known as Ghana, is one of the greatest gold stories on the planet. This tiny African nation ranks in the top 10 of global gold producers.
In this issue, I’m taking advantage of the recent panic in gold stocks to buy a stake in a small company that controls some of Ghana's greatest gold assets. As you'll see, the centuries-old race for Africa's gold is alive and well...but, you now have a chance to get in on the ride this time if you are a GGIS Subscriber.
Modern Day Gold Coast and Its Gold Mining
Today, Ghana is one of the world's best regions in Africa to explore and mine for gold.
The Behre Dolbear Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment ranks the top 25 countries based on its mining laws and general treatment of mining companies. The report does an excellent job of gauging the political risk of a mining project.
Ghana is ranked 10th in the world. In terms of getting a new project permitted to mine, it ranks second, just behind Australia. That puts Ghana ahead of countries synonymous with mining... like China, Argentina, Indonesia, and South Africa.
Guess where I’m headed next month readers? You guessed it … Ghana! The opportunities there are unlimited and of course you know my love for Africa. So, visiting and learning about the motherland’s culture and being able to do business and deduct it, of course is a win-win venture for me.
As for what opportunities, you’re better off investing in gold mining in this tiny West African country than we are in most other countries. But the market doesn't understand this... and that's good for us.
Ghana is among the top 10 global gold producers and the top 15 diamond producers in the world by production volume. It ranks second in Africa for gold production and third for aluminum ore (bauxite). Gold mining contributes almost 10% of the country's gross domestic product.
Today, Ghana leans heavily on its mineral industry. It established a progressive mining law in 2006. Mine operators must pay no less than 3% and no more than 6% of gross revenues. The government receives 10% of any mineral discovery... period.
The mining law is clear and simple. The companies know what to expect and the mining industry continues to grow.
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Asar Maat Ra Gray
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LEGAL NOTICE: This work is based on what I’ve learned as a financial researcher and analyst based SEC filings, current events, interviews, corporate press releases and what I've learned as a financial consultant. It may contain errors and you should not base investment decisions solely on what you read here. It’s your money and your responsibility. Nothing herein should be considered personalized investment advice.