Mining companies operating in the country must support government’s vision to create an integrated mining industry to move the economy forward, Dr. Johnson Asiama, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has urged.
He said the mining sector’s contribution to the economy would increase with the establishment of auxiliary industries, especially gold refineries, and diamond cutting and polishing firms.
“For sustainable economic development in the face of fluctuating primary commodity prices, it is imperative that we process most of our minerals before export,” Second Deputy Governor said.
Dr. Asiama was speaking at the second mining awards night organised in Accra by the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
The event was used to honour deserving members as well as other allied industries, organisations and individuals who contributed immensely to the growth of the mining sector during the review period.
Themed: “Recognising excellence in Ghana’s mining industry for sustainable development,” the awards saw Newmont Gold Ghana Limited – Ahafo mine being adjudged the ‘Mining Company of the Year’.
He said as the government worked to improve the country’s energy supply, mining firms should start developing an integrated mineral industry for sustainable development.
Dr. Asiama reiterated the bank’s commitment to ensuring price stability, low inflation as well as a stable exchange rate regime to create a conducive macro-economic environment for businesses.
He was optimistic the improvement in the macroeconomic indicators would help to support mining sector operations and investments more profitable and internationally competitive.
Dr. Asiama commended the mining sector’s repatriation of export earnings and the payment of taxes.
“From 2010 to date, the mining sector has repatriated about 64 per cent of its total export earnings, made up of 17 per cent mandatory repatriation and 47 per cent voluntary repatriation,” he said.
In addition, the mining sector contributes GH¢1 billion each year in corporate taxes, royalties, PAYE, VAT and dividends.
“The contribution in 2015 was GH¢1.56 billion. This is also very laudable and should be sustained; I am looking forward anxiously to the day we will do away with stability agreements and obtain 100 per cent repatriation, even though the current level of repatriation is commendable,” he said.
Kwaku Andoh Awotwi, a former president of the Chamber, lamented about the negative effect of galamsey on mining and called for a proactive action by all stakeholders to tackle the menace.
Other recipients included Ambassador Bentum Williams, a former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who took home the ‘Lifetime Achievers’ award.
The awards included best mining company in local content; occupational health and safety; innovation as well as CSR investment project.