Business News of Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Ghana’s total gold output in 2015 reduced to 95 tons from the 107 tons recorded in 2014. Consequently, revenue from gold fell to $3.32 billion in 2015 from the $ 3.84 billion which was recorded in 2014.
This drop in volume has been mainly attributed to the suspension of mining by AngloGold Ashanti at its Obuasi mine. The power instability that characterized 2015 has also been blamed for the dip. The revenue shortfall is also due to the slump in gold price across the world.
In spite of these, the country maintained its position as the tenth leading producer of gold, globally. The sector also remains the leading source of fiscal revenue for the country. Records from the Ghana Revenue Authority show that the industry contributed GHC 1.35 billion to the national economy in 2015. This amount represents an eight percent increment over the GHC 1.24 billion recorded in the previous year.
President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Kwame Addo Kuffour, addressing the 88th Annual General Meeting of the chamber said, although gold prices have been widely tipped to remain under pressure, “fresh output from the Asanko Mine and Golden Star Wassa’s underground mine is expected to increase the gold industry’s output in 2016”.
The invasion of mining concessions by illegal miners continues to pose a threat to the operations of mining companies. A case in point is the incursion of illegal miners on the AGA’s Obuasi mines which have resulted in the death of an official of the company. The mine has since ceased operations to avert attacks on employees and the destruction of essential equipment.
Speaking to this issue at the Chamber’s AGM, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Nii Osah Mills said, the passage of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2015, which among others would allow for the confiscation of equipment used by these illegal miners, will make the practice unattractive.
“If all the equipment used by the galamseyers are seized and they’re left with pickaxes and sticks in their hands to carry out these activities, they’ll hardly make progress”, the minister added. He has therefore urged all stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the law to put an end to the act.