Gov’t must be blamed for under-development of mining towns – Chamber Of Mines

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney said that the mining companies barely default in the payment of royalties to the government. However, he argued that the proportion of the total royalty which goes directly to the mining districts is too small.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney was speaking when they held a meeting with the Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfuor in Koforidua on Tuesday (March 20, 2018).

Mr Koney said that the mining companies barely default in the payment of royalties to the government. However, he argued that the proportion of the total royalty which goes directly to the mining districts is too small.

Only 4.95% of all mineral royalty payments by the mining companies are given back to the mining districts.

He mentioned that in 2016 for instance, mining companies in the country paid a mineral royalty of Ghc550 million to Government but only GHC27 million will be returned to the mining district assemblies for development.

He described this as “woefully inadequate for the stimulation of meaningful infrastructural development in the mining communities.”

He said they were happy with the government’s commitment to increase the overall proportion of royalty revenue from 10% to 20%. They are also asking the government to increase the share to 30% for a fixed period to tackle infrastructural challenges in the mining communities.

However, the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfuor said Ghana has not benefitted meaningfully from the gold mining industry considering the number of gold deposits extracted from Ghana.

He said with the exception of few mining firms like Newmont Akyem Mines developing their operational areas in the region, most of the mining companies do not care about initiating support programs for their host communities.

He said this is the reason for the under development in most mining communities in Ghana.

Eric Kwakye Darfour, therefore, called on the mining companies to collaborate with their host communities to support them with developmental initiatives.

In reacting to this comment Mr Koney said that with exception of 2015, the mining industry in Ghana has been the highest revenue contributor to the economy in the last five years of which a total of Ghc1.6 billion was paid to the government as direct revenue.

He said, the mining sector also provides jobs and other business opportunities for the local companies.

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