The minerals and mining sector contributed GH¢1.24 billion to the state through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in 2014.
According to the president of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Johan Ferreira, the contribution represents 16.2 per cent of the total direct tax in 2014, relative to a share of 18.7 per cent in 2013.
Mr. Ferreira said this when he addressed guests at the 87th Annual General Meeting of the Chamber on Friday in Accra.
“The fiscal proceeds mobilised by the GRA from the mining sector comprised GH¢454.5 million, GH¢470.3 million and GH¢312.6 million in corporate taxes, royalties, and Pay As You Earn (PAYE), respectively.”
Mr. Ferreira noted that though the minerals and mining sector has over the years been a pillar to the growth of Ghana’s economy, the current power crisis has greatly affected the operations of mining companies.
“At the beginning of the second half of the year, the National Grid Company (GRIDCo), installed an Automatic Frequency Load Shedding (AFLS) device on the feeders of the mining companies as well as the introduction of the Special Petroleum Tax (SPT). The device instantaneously cut the supply of power to the mines in the event of a deficit in generation of electricity at peak periods”.
According to him the deficit in supply of electricity has compelled most companies to rely on diesel-propelled generators to enhance their load demands.
“Estimates from the Chamber suggest that the increase in expenditure on fuel as a result of the SPT will drive the all-in-cost of a typical mine up by US$ 17 per ounce,” he added.
Mr. Ferreira thus called on the government to relieve the mining sector from the payment of the Special Petroleum Tax not only on account of their significant contribution to the growth of the economy, but also due to the premium they pay on diesel.
On his part, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, commended the Chamber of Mines for providing a collaborative effort with other global players in the industry to champion development through mining, and for providing a co-ordinated forum for dialogue between the industry and other stakeholders.
However, he was of the view that though the mining sector has played a key part in the growth experienced by the economy, the sector has an even greater potential to improve the well-being of every Ghanaian.
“The strategic view of government within that framework is to optimise the contribution of gold while holistically enhancing all other minerals including the known deposits of diamond, bauxite and iron ore”.
The minister called on the Chamber and its members to effectively collaborate and support government along with other stakeholders to achieve this goal.
By Naa Kwaamah Ankrah