Decorative Stone Mining Booms At Klefe

George-BlanksonThe state is losing millions of cedis at Klefe, a farming community near Ho, where decorative stone mining has become a major business activity.

Checks by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Domestic Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority indicated that none of the over 30 smallholder stone mining entrepreneurs pay tax to government.

“In my over 20 years of working here, nobody has come to pay income tax from there. We did not know much about their activities but we will check on them,” an official at the division told the GNA.

The GNA also learnt that a Kia truck load of the precious stones ranges between GH¢400 and GH¢600.
Mr. Delali Kasu, Assemblyman for the area, said the Ho Municipal Assembly issues waybills on truckloads of the decorative stones conveyed outside the municipality.

Some of the enterprises have grown from small scale into medium scale businesses with the introduction of excavators at the site.
The stones are used for building, decoration of houses and for strengthening drains against erosion.

The GNA saw wide, long and deep pits filled with rain water in what used to be cocoa farms but now mining sites.
Mr. Edward Gidiglo, Ho Municipal Coordinating Director, said apart from income tax, the miners have to be licensed by the Mineral’s Commission and not the assembly because the stones were considered as minerals.

Authorities at the Geological Survey Department however doubted whether the miners were issued with operational permits from the Mineral’s Commission and urged the Assembly to co-ordinate their activities to rake in revenue for the government and create jobs for the youth.

Mr. Martin Kpetigo, Volta Regional Director of the Department, said there were other precious minerals, apart from the stones, in the area and urged government to “step in”.

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