The Ghana Chamber of Mines paid a total of GH¢1.24billion to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) representing 16.2 percent of GRA’s total direct taxes in 2014.
Out of the contribution paid by the industry, GH¢312.7million, GH¢454.6million, and GH¢1.1million were as corporate tax, royalties, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and others. A total of GH¢160.8million was also ploughed back into the mining districts between 2011 and 2015 to serve as a manifestation of commensurate development.
This indicates that the industry accounted for 31 percent of the country’s gross export revenue in 2015, reinforcing its position as the leading source of forex and a major contributor to the country’s balance of payments.
The mining sector stood as the number-one tax payer and highest contributor to the Ghana Revenue Authority’s domestic revenue mobilisation.
The producing members of the Chamber also returned US$2.8billion, representing 77.5 percent of their mineral revenue through the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the commercial banks in 2014.
Alhaji Sulemana Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines disclosed this at a one-day multi-stakeholder interaction that highlighted the mining industry’s contributions to the national economy, as well as its opportunities and challenges.
The media interaction was under the auspices of the Northern Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), facilitated by the Regional Chairman Caesar Abagale.
The event brought together journalists from the three regions of the north, students and law enforcement officers.
He said, for every US dollar profit that the company makes, the government of Ghana receives a US$1.6 share of the mineral revenue — indicating that government earns more than the company itself.
According to the CEO, government’s inability to invest returns from mineral sales in the communities reflects poorly on the image of mining companies.
He however said a total of GH¢20.8million was spent on the companies’ Corporate Social Investment (CSI) in the areas of health, education and water, electricity, roads and sanitation.
He stressed that the revenue accrued from the mining industry is enough for developmental projects in the country.
He therefore called for the setting up and revival of industries such as the Bonsa Tyre and Abosso Glass factories, to provide alternative employment in mining communities.
He also advocated the diversification of minerals sector development, and utilising other industrial minerals such as iron ore, mica and salt that can help create more job opportunities to alleviate poverty in the country.
He admonished government to accelerate efforts required to legalise the operations of recognised small-scale mining firms operating in the country.
He also commented on some of the mining industry’s challenges, which include the upward adjustment of corporate tax rates — reviewed from 25 to 35 percent, coupled with the royalty rate being changed from a range of three to six percent to a flat rate of five percent.
He said the relevant laws on illegal mining should be enforced in order to protect the environment and attract potential investors into the country to contribute their quota to development of the nation.
Mr. Koney reiterated the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ commitment to promote and protect the interest of all stakeholders in the mining industry.
He urged stakeholders to ensure proper utilisation of the funds, saying irregular disbursement of royalties to the district assemblies impedes meaningful development in the mining communities.
He urged the media to take keen interest in mining reportage to educate the public on progress made by the sector — adding that the media’s curiosity in the mining industry could deepen social auditing and accountability in that sector.
This, he said, would help prevent illegal mining activities that destroy the country’s landscape.
The Director of External Relations and Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ahmed D. Nantogmah, commended the participants for their contribution toward activities of the mining industry; saying all the suggestions made will be critically analysed to ensure their utilisation.
He said the Ghana Chamber of Mines is poised to promote socially and environmentally responsible mining in Ghana, thus ensuring value for the minerals mined in the country.