Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N) expects to produce 500,000 ounces of gold a year at its new Akyem mine in Ghana once it was up and running, a senior official said on Friday. We're pretty confident that our Ahafo mine will produce around 500,000 ounces (a year)... and we think our eastern region Ghana project (Akyem) will produce something similar to that, Chris Anderson, director of external affairs for the Africa and Europe regions told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum for Africa.

American-based Newmont is the world's second biggest gold producer and in 2006 mined its first gold at Ahafo, the company's pioneering foray in Africa.

We want to expand. We want to find new deposits in west Africa. We want to look to some acquisitions and I think all that goes to our optimism about Africa for investment, Anderson said.

He said Newmont, which was considering Ghana's capital Accra as the new base for its African and European operations, was also prospecting in Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf)

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