Ghana's gold exports are estimated to be undervalued between $3.8 billion and $8.3 billion, a six years interdisciplinary research has concluded.
The research conducted on the country's gold exports from 2011 to 2017 established that the undervalued gold exports was equivalent to 11 per cent of the total gold exported within the period.
This was made known at a workshop organised by the Institute of Economical Statistical and Social Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana in Accra last Tuesday.
The workshop, held on the theme, "Curbing Commodity trade-related illicit financial flows, policy options for Ghana", brought together stakeholders to discuss ways of maximising the country's gains from the export of precious minerals such as gold.
A member of the research team, Dr Fred Dzanku told the Graphic Business in an interview that the team's analysis of the commodity value chains indicated that the centralised and regulated trade in cocoa beans was better than the decentralised trade in partially refined gold which was highly exposed to trade mispricing.
To help improve the country’s earnings from gold exports, the team recommended that there must be an improvement in the data collection capacity of institutions engaged in the export of such commodities including the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
According to the team, there must also be greater co-operation among the various institutions in the extractive and exports sectors to reconcile data collected and to improve skills of their staff.
"There must also be improvement in tax assessments and payment tracking by national institutions by providing them with information and communication technology tools, especially computers, relevant software and access to critical databases, matching those of the private sector actors," the report said.
The report added that regulators in the space must consider using research methods as a means for risk-based selecting of cases for customs, tax and transfer pricing audits.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), Nana Akwasi Awuah also said in a panel discussion that the PMMC was in the process of establishing a gold refinery that will enable the country to make more revenue from gold mined in the country.
He said the equipment for the establishment of the refinery was already in the country and actual construction would begin soon.