Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) has presented a cheque for $5.8 million (about GH¢25.14 million) to the government as dividend for last year for holding 10 per cent carried interest in the mine.
Under the country’s mining laws, the state owns 10 per cent carried interest in every mineral concession.
Gold Fields owns 90 per cent in Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) and Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL), with the government holding 10 per cent carried interest in each of them.
Gold Field’s Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, Mr Albert Baku, led a team to present the cheque to the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta.
Mr Ofori-Atta, on behalf of the government, commended Gold Fields for consistently declaring dividends in spite of challenges the sector faced, including the fall in the price of gold on the international market.
“The payment is very material to the government’s goal of raising revenue, which is an important factor in the success of the budget submitted to Parliament,” he said.
The finance minister added that for the past six years, Gold Fields had paid over $32 million from its operations at both the Tarkwa and Damang gold mines, which together with the latest payment amounted to about $38 million.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the government was expecting an estimated GH¢60 million as dividends from state owned enterprises (SOEs) in the 2017 financial year.
The minister also lauded the passage of the bill for capping earmarked funds, saying “it is a real boom in the development of fiscal policies.”
Mr Baku, for his part, said the company faced daunting challenges relating to profitability and high cost of operations due to the fall in gold prices, which had brought the Damang Mine on its knees.
He added that feasibility studies enabled it to invest about $1.4 billion to mine some abandoned ore that would prolong the life span of the mine for eight more years.
That investment, Mr Baku said, enabled the company to protect 2000 jobs in the country, adding that “we are very excited about the high level of compliance we attach to the free carried interest payment.”
The Executive Vice-President expressed worry about the state of roads within the company’s operational area, particularly from Tarkwa to Damang, which the company had decided to construct at a cost of $18 million.
About Gold Fields
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company is rated the world’s eighth leading gold producer with mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa.
The West Africa Region consists of the Damang Mine and the Tarkwa Mines, with Tarkwa being the largest, where the company has since invested a total of $2.5 billion.
The Ghana Revenue Authority awarded Gold Fields the best taxpayer for 2016.