Gold Fields Ghana Limited has presented a cheque for $7 million as interim dividend to government on its 2015 accounts.
The amount is in respect of government’s 10 per cent shares in Gold Fields’ Tarkwa and Damang Mines.
Mr. Alfred Baku, Executive Vice President and Head of the Gold Fields’ West Africa Region, who presented the cheque said the payment was the company’s demonstration of confidence in the country.
He said management recognized government’s support to the company’s operations and that it would continue to keep its commitment to the government.
He however, stated that the extractive industry was faced with many challenges; the most crucial was the energy situation in the country leading to the company shedding about 30 per cent of power.
Mr. Bako said he was hopeful that the energy situation would be tackled by the government as quickly as possible to provide relieve for industries.
He said the issue of stability agreement was of huge interest to Gold Fields investors and wanted to know the extent of work of the committee set up to review the agreements.
“The question that most analysts ask is why is Gold Fields not having a stability agreement with Ghana just as some other mining companies have,” he said.
He cited the delay in the refund of Value Added Tax as one of the major concerns of the company.
He said Gold Fields had made significant contributions to Ghana’s economy not only by way of paying taxes, dividends and royalties, but also through offering direct and indirect employment.
Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Finance Minister, who received the cheque on behalf of the government, congratulated Gold Fields for declaring and paying its dividend despite the challenges facing the industry.
She assured the company that government was working to resolve the energy crisis while Parliament would pass the work of the stability agreement review committee to ensure that government got a template to use for all mining companies.
On the Value Added Tax refund, Mrs Quartey said the monies would be paid in due course.
Gold Fields Ghana is presently the number-one gold mining company and largest gold producer in Ghana, with annual production in excess of 935,000 ounces from its two operating mines at Damang and Tarkwa.
It engages about 5,612 Ghanaians in direct employment. The company is owned by Gold Fields Limited (GFL), a global multinational precious metals producer headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.
By David Adadevoh