In his first Public message to the Ghana Chamber of Mines in 2024, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP delivered a profound statement about the intensification of measures towards the protection of large-scale mining concessions in the country as well as ramping up of collaborations between the government and the Chamber of Mines towards the actualization of the diversification and value addition policies being executed by government.


Addressing members of the Chamber of Mines during a meeting on Wednesday, 17 January 2024, the Lands Minister observed that the government and the Chamber managed to chalk significant successes together last year and that 2024 presents an opportunity to escalate and enhance joint efforts aimed at creating the environment necessary for the smooth and productive operations of the large-scale mining companies.


Gleaning lessons from last year’s experience, Hon. Jinapor identified galamsey which is typified by encroachment of concessions of large scale mining companies and fiscal issues as the main challenges which could be tackled with the utmost collaborations of the chamber and government.


On galamsey, the Minister commended the Chamber for their $300,000 donation for repair works on three aircrafts of the Ghana Air Forces and assured that the Ministry will raise the funds necessary for the complete restoration of those aircrafts to enable them contribute to the fight against illegal mining.


“What I can assure you is that Government is fully committed to providing adequate security for your concessions. Because it is when your concessions are safe that you can work in peace to support Government. So, whatever we need to do to ensure that your concessions are safe, we will do it”, he stated.


“And in this regard, I will continue to count on the leadership of the Chamber. If there are specific or special cases we need to deal with let us know and we will take the necessary steps to deal with them”, he added.


On the fiscal issues, the Minister noted that continued engagement between various stakeholders will ensure that a mutually satisfying conclusion is reached on the issues.


He outlined some of the actions taken by his outfit to addressing the issue and disclosed that the Economic Management Team is well aware of the concern of the companies over the VAT on exploration and will take a decision that serves the interest of all parties.


“We have held several engagements with the Ministry of Finance on this matter, but as you will all agree, 2023 was a very difficult year for our economy. And with the IMF conditionalities coming in, some of these decisions are not taken lightly. But I want to assure you that we will continue our engagement with the Ministry, and hopefully, we can find a middle ground to this issue.


”And that ties in to the other fiscal issues you raised today, including the Growth and Sustainability Levy, and the VAT on exploration. Yesterday, at the Economic Management Team Meeting, the issue of VAT on exploration was again raised, and I can assure you that Government is seriously looking into the concerns you have raised,” he said.


Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor further shed light on the campaign by government to make Ghana the hub of mining in Africa through the establishment refineries that will ensure that Ghana shifts from exporting raw materials to adding value to its mineral resources.


He disclosed that through the strenuous efforts of government and the chamber, Ghana has leapfrogged South Africa as the Africa’s largest producer of gold and that revenue from the sector has played significant role in the recent strides made by the Ghanaian economy.


“Work on the integrated aluminium and iron and steel industries are progressing steadily. GIADEC has completed mineral resource estimation for Nyinahini Block 1, and has identified an investor for Nyinahini Block 2, with the agreement due to be signed next week. GIISDEC has, also, taken delivery of a drill rig to commence mineral resource estimation for iron ore in the Oti Region.


“And as its now become notorious, we have signed a mining lease for the exploitation of some of our lithium resources, with the commitment to ensure that we retain part of the value of this green mineral here in our country.


“In terms of value addition, generally, we are working around the clock to secure LBMA Certification for our refinery established through a PPP. We are working with Ghana Manganese Company to establish a refinery for the manganese we produce. We were in China late last year to inspect their refinery there, and, hopefully, work will start very soon on the construction of the refinery, here in our country,” he said.


The Lands Minister also charged the Chamber to make the development of the communities in their catchment areas a cog of their operations and execute socio-economic projects in those communities.


“Let me say that in all these matters, as I have always admonished, it is good for the mining companies, and the Chamber to carry the communities along.


“You are all witnesses to the public commentary on the Atlantic Lithium Mining Lease, and this is despite the fact that we had agreed on enhanced fiscal provisions, including 10% royalties, 13% free carried interest, 1% Growth and Sustainability Levy and additional 1% for a Community Development Fund.


“And so, some of these things, for the sake of your own operations, to have the peace of mind to carry on with your operations, it is useful to do some of these things to carry the country and the community along,” he said.


Mr. Joshua Mortoti, President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines projected significant increase in gold production in 2024.


He also noted that despite the economic difficulties chalked by the country, the mining industry managed to witness some growth and help reduce the impact of the external factors that crippled the Ghanaian economy.


“In 2024, the output of the Chamber’s producing member companies is projected to increase to 3.5 million ounces mainly due to fresh production from Cardinal Namdini Gold Mine.


The additional output from the mine, which is earmarked for the fourth quarter of 2024, will partially compensate for the anticipated decline in output of Newmont’s Akyem Mine and Gold Fields’ Damang Mine.


“The latter mines are approaching their end of life. With a projected output range of 1.1 million ounces to 1.3 million ounces in 2024 from the small-scale sector, the national gold output is expected to exceed 4.5 million ounces in 2024. Regarding manganese production, the planned output for 2024 is 5 million tonnes,” he said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *