The mining sector accounts for more than one-third of the country’s foreign exchange receipts, making it Ghana’s largest source foreign exchange earner.
In 2015, the realized mineral revenue reported by the producing member companies of the Ghana Chamber of Mines was $3.1 billion.
Out of the amount, the producing companies returned 85 percent into the country, which is four folds more than the statutory repatriation requirement of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and also 13 percent increase over the amount recorded in 2014.
Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, disclosed this at the 2016 Zone two inter-mines First Aid and Safety Competition held at Prestea in the Western Region under the theme, “Safety Our way of Life.”
He revealed that fiscal contributions by the mining sector increased from GH¢1.24 billion in 2014 to GH¢1.3 billion in 2015, representing a growth of 8.8 percent.
He noted the mining sector accounted for nearly 15 percent of domestic revenue mobilized by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2015.
“These funds are largely channeled into the national budget to finance development programmes of the state,” he added.
He mentioned that even though the fiscal contribution from the mining sector was very significant, most people were unaware of the specific projects funded with mineral revenue.
“It is in this light that we continue to urge the government to pass a law similar to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act for the mining industry.
“Aside providing clarity on how the funds are utilized, such a law will also promote good governance and prudential management of revenues from the mining sector,” he added.
Safety has always been a priority in the mining industry and as good corporate entity, the Chamber of Mines and its producing member companies continue to work safely in a safe environment, Mr Koney pointed out.
On his part, Shaddrack Sowah, Acting General Manager of Golden Star Bogoso/Prestea Limited (GSBPL), a mining firm in the region, noted that comprehensive risk management plan by the company had led to drastic reduction in work related injuries and illness.
“The Lost Time Injury (LTI) frequency rate over the past months saw a downward trend which we attribute to the enhanced awareness of safe working practices and overall improvement of our safety culture,” he added.
He said that over the years, the mining company had formed strong partnerships with its host communities.
“These efforts have yielded mutual benefits and led to support for the company’s operations and sustained improvement in its host communities,” he stressed.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi