Govt shuts down Ghana Manganese Company … for non-payment of taxes

The Ghana Manganese Company Limited will from today stop operating following an order by government to cease operations due to non-payment of taxes as well as price and production manipulation between 2010 and 2017.

Among other things, the shutdown was also as a result of the company’s failure to comply but rather circumvent the local content policy at the expense of local contractors which are owed millions of Cedis.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday following an audit of the company which commenced in January this year, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, said, the ministry was working with the Minerals Commission to institute measures to retrieve the taxes.   

 “GMCL has not shown strong commitment to value addition in particular. There are also defaults by the company in the payment of annual minerals rights fees in excess of US$4 million. These and several infractions give me no option as the sector minister than to close down the operations of GMCL.”

“The company is therefore instructed to stop all mining exploration and export of minerals effective August 6, 2019. The Ministry together with the Minerals Commission and other relevant stakeholders will immediately commence discussions with Ghana Manganese to resolve this and other outstanding issues in the course of the shutdown,” he stated.

Explaining further, the minister noted that, based on fair pricing model and verifiable data, government has been short-changed by the company in relation to payment of royalty taxes, and corporate taxes, among others.

He said the company further manipulated sales between 2014 and 2015 in order to stockpile ore prior to adjusting the price downwards by US$0.65 for every dry metric ton unit contrary to section 13 of the mining lease agreement governing the company’s operation.

Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the audit further revealed that the Ghana Manganese Company Limited failed to invest in its mining assets despite a letter by its mother company indicating that it would add that the lack of investment has resulted in major infrastructural deficits with road and railways facing continuous deterioration due to the company’s operations.

In January this year, the Ghana Manganese Company Limited was directed to halt its mining operations to enable the government undertake a thorough technical and financial audit of the company’s operations.

The audit was to make transparent the operations of the manganese mining company and to determine its operational challenges and capabilities.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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