Côte d'Ivoire Geological Overview
West Africa hosts a number of multi-million ounces gold deposits and exploration and development activities continue to discover and progress significant new opportunities. In 2020 West African countries annual gold production was approximately: 4.9 Moz in Ghana, 3.3 Moz in Mali, 3.3 Moz in Burkina Faso, 1.3 Moz in Ivory Coast and 1.9 Moz in Guinea1.
Production Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea has totaled +119 Moz of gold 2011 to 2021, whereas Côte d’Ivoire has only produced 9.5 Moz in the same time frame2.
Côte d'Ivoire hosts approximately 35% of the Birimian Group units mapped in West Africa and the country is regarded as largely under-explored as it has not seen the level of development of neighbouring countries in West Africa.
The geology of Côte d’Ivoire and most of West Africa consists predominantly of Archaean and Paleoproterozoic terranes. The coastal regions of Côte d’Ivoire are largely covered by Mezozoic-Cenozoic sedimentary basin.
Côte d’Ivoire is largely underlain by the Birimian Baoulé-Mossi domain with the western part of the country underlain by the Archaean Man-Leo Shield. Whilst the Baoulé-Mossi domain contains slivers of Archaean rock it is dominated by Lower to Middle Proterozoic Birimian rocks deformed during the Eburnean orogeny (2 to 1.8 Ga). Birimian Supergroup rocks cover more than two-thirds of the country (Lompo 2010; Vidal et. Al. 2009) and consist of granitoid zones with volcano-sedimentary greenstone belts. The predominant strike of the belts and other key structures is north-northeast to south-southwest, typically with sub-vertical dips. The dominant regional metamorphism is greenschist facies. Gold mineralisation within the Birimian Group rocks is typically structurally controlled and are considered mesothermal or orogenic lode (and disseminated) deposits associated with major crustal scale shear zones, secondary and tertiary structures which function as pathways and traps for mineralising fluids. The Birimian Group host the majority of West Africa's major gold mines1.
2 World Gold Council 2021: Gold Mining Production Volume Data: https://www.gold.org/goldhub/data/historical-mine-production