Suleman Koney, Chief Executive of the Chamber
The Ghana Chamber of Mines has called on government to offer fiscal regime reliefs to mid-tier mining companies operating in the country.
According to the Chamber, there is the need for government to offer some fiscal regime reliefs to the mid-tier mining companies because of the capital intensive nature of the business, coupled with the fact that Ghana is one of the high tax jurisdictions in Africa.
Suleman Koney, Chief Executive of the Chamber, who was speaking to journalists at a mining for development forum in Accra yesterday said, “It is our expectation that the fiscal regime will be looked at again to ensure that the mid-tier mining companies don’t feel the pain.”
He said, “Currently, if you look at the comparatives, we are one of the high tax jurisdictions in Africa. For this reason, we will continue to engage government to see whether something could be done so the firms would have some relief.
Mr. Koney said, “It is good that the big players in the industry such as Anglogold Ashanti, Newmont and Goldfields have some reliefs but certainly there is more scope for us to look at a more flexible fiscal regime relief for the mid-tier companies as well.
Some of the mid-tier mining companies, the CEO mentioned, are Golden Star, Chirano, Adamus Resources and Perseus.
Augustine Wireko Asuobonteng, Acting Vice President and Head of Finance, Gold Fields West Africa Region, in his presentation, said mining companies are not making huge profits as perceived by many people.
He said the mining business is not as profitable as people think, stating that the cost involved is so huge and the profit margin exclusively high.
Mr. Asuobonteng further explained that the chunk of the profit they make go into maintenance of the mines.
Procuring Power Plants
Touching on the mines’ effort to mitigate the impact of the re-occurring power crisis on their operations, he said “we have gone into an agreement with a private power producer to build a power plant to serve the mining companies and help us wean us off the grid.
“It is also good for the country because the excess power that we will give out can be used to serve other areas.
Mr Asuobonteng said the agreement has already been signed.
“We have done the set up. For our mines at Tarkwa, we are about 90 percent done with the construction. We expect to commission IT by the third quarter of this year.”
By Cephas Larbi