When Portuguese mariners first dropped anchor in the mouth of the river Pra in what is now Ghana, they heard of goldfields so rich that for the following five centuries the entire region became known as the Gold Coast. The promise of wealth sparked a rush to grab land, build forts, trade slaves and secure bullion, which poured into treasuries in Europe.
Early European contact by the Portuguese people, who came to the region in the 15th century to trade and then established the Portuguese Gold Coast (Costa do Ouro), focused on the extensive availability of gold. The Portuguese built a trading lodge at a coastal settlement called Anomansah (the perpetual drink) which they renamed São Jorge da Mina.
The coat of arms depicts two animals: the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax, a very large bird that lives in the savannas and deserts; 35% of Ghana’s landmass is desert, 35% is forest, 30% is savanna) and the lion (Panthera leo, a big cat); a ceremonial sword, a heraldic castle on a heraldic sea, a cocoa tree and a mine shaft representing the industrial mineral wealth of Ghana, and a five-pointed black star rimmed with gold representing the mineral gold wealth of Ghana and the lodestar of the Ghanaian people. It also has the legend Freedom and Justice.
Africa’s biggest gold producer, in 2018 Ghana shipped almost $6bn of the shiny stuff, its single biggest export.
A doré bar is a semi-pure alloy of gold and silver. It is usually created at the site of a mine and then transported to a refinery for further purification.
The proportions of silver and gold can vary widely. Doré bars weigh as much as 25 kg.
During the nineteenth-century gold rushes, gold nuggets and dust would be melted into crude gold bars mistakenly called “bullion” by miners. They were, more accurately, doré bars with higher contents of silver and other adulterants than mints of the world would accept. Mint and private assayers would then refine the doré bars to an acceptable purity, 999 fine, gold bullion, the silver and base metals removed.
By the time of the California gold rush, mints were moving away from the age-old process of cupellation to “part” bullion and moving toward the acid refining process developed by chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac for the French mint. By the time of the Klondike gold rush, mints were replacing Gay-Lussac’s acid process and introducing electrolysis to refine doré bars into 999.9 purity gold bullion.
Ghana produces gold into doré bar for export and this presents the opportunity for fortune hunters, to buy gold in doré bar and transport to the refinery for the profit found in the price spread. Rewards are golden to those that beat the odds of the risk of speculating and transporting the gold from it’s source to it’s end use as refined 24 carrot gold bullion.
Doré bars from the Gold Coast are something worth knowing and I am learning by doing and have embarked upon, perhaps the greatest, but certainly the most interesting, adventure of my life. Yes, I caught gold-fever, like millions before me, I’ve invested in a gold mining operation in Africa.
I have a plan to help the people who work on the ground to mine the gold and I have a dream to help Africa and the people of the promised land. Gold is as fundamental as bread, everyone understands it and wants it because it represents life and living. There’s enough to go around, provided people don’t hoard more than they need, therein lies the problem.
Stay tuned as we witness the Quantum Financial System monetize assets wherever they are stored in a participating bullion bank. In the future you’ll be able to store your gold and spend it when you need it.