The Minerals Commission says, it has been drawn to a recent news bulletin and publication making rounds in the Ghanaian media, about foreign gold buyers taking over the business of local gold buyers and exporting them at great loss to the nation among other allegations against the Minerals Commission.
It is important that the Commission clarifies the falsehood that has been put out in the public domain.
According to the Commission, In Ghana, there are two classes of gold mining licences i.e. large-scale gold mining leases and small-scale mining licences.
This was contained in a press release. It said, in the case of large-scale gold mining companies, gold sales have either been by the spot price at the London Metal Exchange or by other Marketing Agreements with overseas refineries with the approval of Government. “Thus such companies do not sell their gold locally.”
“In the case of small-scale, the licences enjoin them to sell gold produced from their operations to Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) or other gold buyers licensed by the Government. Thus, gold produced by small-scale miners are the ones sold locally and purchased by licenced gold dealers mainly for export or limited refining by small scale refineries. Exports of gold are regulated by the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) and the Minerals Commission.”
The licensing of Ghanaian registered companies to buy and export gold is done in line with sections 6 and 104 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, (Act 703) as well as Regulation 4 of the Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I.2173).
The application for the licence is submitted to the Minerals Commission for review and subsequently recommended to the Hon. Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources if deemed appropriate. The Hon. Minister may then grant the licence, if the recommendation is accepted.
“It is worth mentioning that the grant of licence to deal in gold is not discriminatory between nationality, race, tribe or colour. The applicant must meet certain technical and financial conditions without which the Hon. Minister may not grant the licence. Currently, 20 gold exporters have been granted licence by the Hon. Minister. The breakdown is as follows: Ghanaians-11 representing 55%, Indians-5 representing 25% and other nationals-4 (German-1, Australian-1 and Lebanese-2) representing-20%.
Again in Ghana, the only institution that can grant any company the privilege of retaining part or all of its earnings outside the country is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Minerals Commission records indicate that none of the licenced gold dealers have been granted that privilege. Analysis of available on some of the licensed gold dealers indicates that about 60% of revenue was repatriated to the country last year.
The Commission says, its explanation will erase the erroneous impression the various publications have created in the minds of the reading public.