The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, has revealed that the Chamber has thrown its weight behind the Government of Ghana in the fight against illicit small-scale mining trade (galamsey) in the country.
According to him, the Chamber is totally against irresponsible mining activities that are destroying the water bodies and the environment at large.
The government has placed a ban on all small-scale mining activities in the country as a way of flushing out the illegal miners. As part of the war against galamsey, a joint Military-Police task force, Operation Vanguard, has been formed to scale up government’s efforts.
Mr Koney, speaking to members of the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) in Accra said: “The Chamber supports the government in this endeavor. We want responsible mining in the country.”
Touching on the contribution of the mining sector to the Ghanaian economy in the 2016 fiscal year, Mr Koney revealed that the sector was the leading tax payer and contributor to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
He said : “The sector contributed about GHS 1.6 billion to the GRA representing 15.8 percent GRA’s total direct taxes for the year. Mining was the leading tax payer and contributor to GRA’s Domestic Collections in 2016. Contributed about GH? 1.64 billion to GRA, representing 15.8% of GRA’s Total Direct Taxes in 2016.
“Gold Fields and Newmont Ghana, member companies of the Chamber, were adjudged the largest and second largest tax payer in Ghana in 2016 by GRA.”
He added: “The industry accounted for 46% of the country’s gross export revenue in 2016, reinforcing its position as the leading source for forex and a major contributor to the country’s balance of payments.
“For the first time since 2011, the provisional balance of payments in 2016 recorded a surplus. This largely reflected an improvement in the trade balance driven by a rise in gold export receipts and a fall in oil import prices.
“Producing members of the Chamber returned USD 2.3 billion, representing 71% of their mineral revenue (USD3.2 billion) through the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Commercial Banks in 2016.
“This has significant bearing on the international reserve position of BoG and the stability of the monetary system as a whole.”