Foreign investors in the gold industry have been advised to be cautious of scammers in the country who pose as miners or exporters to defraud them.
The Chairman of the Association of Gold Exporters of Ghana, Mr Kwabena Asante Asare, gave the advice during the opening of a two day international forum for stakeholders in the gold industry in Accra yesterday.
“There are a lot of scammers in the system,” he said, adding that the miscreants usually offered outrageous and unrealistic discounts to unsuspecting gold buyers.
He urged foreign investors not to engage in gold transactions in hotels and other unauthorised places but rather deal with licensed miners, exporters or a member of the gold exporters association. “When in doubt about any gold deal, you must consult the Minerals Commission of Ghana,” he told the investors.
Between 2013 and 2016, Mr Asare said the country, produced and exported more than eight million ounces of gold, with small-scale miners contributing about four million to it. He said since the mineral was not renewable, it was prudent to ensure proper regulation of the sector.
The event, known as the Global Gold Dore Forum 2017 (GGDF), is an annual forum which brings together gold miners, dore exporters, refiners and other suppliers from West African countries, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, India, UEA, Turkey and South America. It is organised by Foretell Business Solutions, an Indian research firm that provides advisory services on commodities and has 175 delegates representing 18 countries. It provided the platform for stakeholders to share ideas and knowledge on the best practices.
Minerals and Mining Policy
Addressing the participants, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn, said Ghana had unveiled its minerals and mining policies to address various concerns in the mining industry and to ensure that mining contributed to the sustainable development of the country.
He said policies such as the adoption of revised minerals and Mining Act 703 was to provide connected purposes of investors in the country, adding that the implementation of a digital mining system in the few months would also allow investors to sit in the comfort of their homes and apply for a licence to do business in the country. He observed that investors did not consult the appropriate sources for assistance but only reported to the commission when the situation was out of hand. “We have received complaints of scam and we appeal to investors to seek the right channel to do their business. We do not want the situation where an investor will report a scam and end up hating the country”, he said.
In order to deepen the transparency, he said, the country was establishing a laboratory that would enable one to know the number of gold exported from the country and that would also ensure feasibility and accountability in the mining sector. Dr Toni Aubynn, therefore, underscored the potential of the country’s free and fair general election to attract investors into the country. “Investors tend to look at the political stability of a country, and Ghana is one of such countries,” he said.
For his part, the President of Foretell Business Solutions Private Limited (FBSPL), Mr Srivatsava Ganapathy, said the gold mining industry had grown in size and had created employment for the youth in the country. He urged the members to share ideas to enrich themselves with knowledge on themining sector.
At the end of the opening ceremony, three personalities were honoured for immensely contributing to the promotion of the mining sector and they included the Chief Executive Officer of Sakti Trading Group (STG), Mr Hari Iyer; the Chairman of Association of Gold Exporters of Ghana, Mr Kwabena Asante Asare; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn.