PMMC Tearing Apart

The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) is on the verge of collapse because the Board of Directors and management appear to be struggling to sustain the previously vibrant company as a result of gross financial indiscipline.

Information gathered by BUSINESS GUIDE indicates that some foreigners have been frequenting there lately in a bid to take over the company since the situation has worsened.

Already, they have visited the company’s branches off the Spintex Road and other parts of Accra to seal the deal.

The development has led to the dismissal of some 14 members of staff lately, with another batch of 26 expected to be sacked soon.

All these have been attributed to gross misapplication of funds by management.

The MD, who was appointed in March last year, takes home a gross salary of GH¢32,100 with a net of GH¢24,000, while each member of the six-member board reportedly takes GH¢2,460 per sitting, aside monthly allowances.

The huge amounts of money being claimed by the board and other judgment debts paid to some individuals due to mismanagement are said to be the cause of the company’s dwindling fortunes.

Meanwhile, security staff and other janitorial services are paid between GH¢185.00 and GH¢261.00.

Notwithstanding the huge sitting allowance members of the Board take, they are trying to deny the staff of some allowances they receive every year, with the excuse that they should sacrifice for the company due to unhealthy financial status.

These include clothing, leave and school fees, which are codified in their collective bargaining agreement.

Also, PMMC’s diamond-cutting and polishing plant, which produces 200 carats of polished diamonds per month for jewellery production, has become a white elephant while a €4.5million gold refinery project contract which the company signed in November 2012 with Russia-based Geo Professional Services Limited in Accra, has failed to materialize.

It was expected to begin operation in mid-2013.
The gold refinery project, which was to be named after Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, would enable PMMC to refine 700,000 tonnes of gold for export yearly and enhance the price of gold for small-scale miners in the country.

The late Kwabena Kyereh, Board Chairman at the time, told the media in 2012 during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PMMC and Geo Professionals that the necessary financing as well as permits had been secured.

During an event to sign a MoU between the two companies to formalise the project, he added that ‘we have placed orders for machinery and other equipment and all due diligence has been carried out.’

The company, which exported an approximate volume of 453,000 ounces of gold procured from small-scale miners in 2011, stated that its revenues and profits were low because the gold was unrefined and subject to market fluctuations.

Messrs Geo Professional Services Limited, which was said to have undertaken numerous prominent gold ventures across the world, has been in the news for allegedly engaging in scams. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Ramazan Kafarov.

Sources at PMMC, in an interview with BUISNESS GUIDE, alleged that the company’s MD, who was a branch manager of adb, is a close buddy of President John Mahama.

According to them, he sidelined some of the management members and dealt with only two of them after he assumed office as MD.

The Chief of Finance at PMMC, Bernard Annang seems to be at the helm of affairs and dictating the pace for the MD.

By Samuel Boadi & Melvin Tarlue

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