Export receipts in 2022 from gold generated $ 6.6 billion dollars to retain its position as the leading source of export revenue, Samuel A. Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has said.
Mr Jinapor at a press briefing in Accra, announced that four new large-scale mining operations would start production within the next two and a half years.
“After reviving the Obuasi mine in 2019, the Bibiani mine, which had been dormant for seven years, has also been revived, with production starting in October 2022 to increase mineral production and government revenue,” he said.
He said discussions were ongoing with Rand Refinery of South Africa, a London Bullion Marketing Association (LBMA) referee, to secure certification to easily export and trade refined gold on the international market.
The government, he stated, was planning to establish a Gold Souk, a marketplace for the manufacturing and marketing of gold articles, adding that, “PMMC’s jewellery subsidiary is now producing gold tablets, engrave and plate jewellery.”
The Minister said the Government was reviewing the Mining Policy adopted in 2014 and the Minerals and Mining Act, passed in 2006, to promote more investment in the sector.
On diversification of the mineral resource base, the Minister said the Ghana Geological Survey Authority had intensified limestone exploration activities in the Mamprusi West District to develop limestone mines to feed the cement industry.
The Authority has, also, identified and evaluated over 1,275 metric tonnes of clay resources at Assin Fosu and its environs in the Assin North and Central Districts of the Central Region, suitable for the production of high-quality assay crucibles, bricks, tiles, and electrical porcelain.
He stated that the Government reduced the withholding tax on unprocessed gold by small-scale miners, which was implemented in 2015, from 5% to 3% to support the sector.
That, the Minister stressed, had resulted in a massive increment in gold exports from small scale mining, from 3,429.91kg in 2021, to 22,158.25kg in 2022.
He stated that the Government was implementing the Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2404), to track 4,000 excavators and other earth moving equipment, and that a control room had been established at the Minerals Commission, with 75 excavators installed with tracking devices at various mine sites.
Mr Jinapor said the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme, launched in 2021, was being implemented to provide alternative sources of income for communities affected by the fight against illegal mining.
He said the Apprenticeship, Skills Training, and Entrepreneurship module of the Programme would be rolled out this year and was expected to provide training for 5,000 youth in agriculture, technical, vocational, industrial, and mining skills.