The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) says Ghana loses over GH¢50 million annually in royalties from quarry due to the country’s over-concentration on gold resources.
The Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng who said this at the opening of the 2022 Ghana Mining Week and Gold Expo in Takoradi said quarry should be giving Ghana around GH¢100 million royalties annually, but Ghana only realised just GH¢ 3.8milllion in 2020.
“92% of our royalties are coming from gold, so there is a leaning towards gold because that is where we have our most royalties. So, that is the problem. If you look at the quarry sector, it is in line with our economic and infrastructure development. So as far as you have infrastructure and economic development growing, there should be a corresponding increase in its royalties. We are supposed to have about, GH¢100million in royalties annually. In a worst-case scenario, we should have at least GH¢35 million to GH¢ 56 million but in 2020 we had only GH¢3.6 million which means there is a big problem with the quarries“, he said.
Explaining the cause of the problem to Citi News on the sidelines of the Ghana Mining Week, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng also highlighted plans to cure the problem.
“We have identified four main problems with the quarries including invasion by foreigners, underpricing, lack of capital and encroachment by settlers within the catchment of quarries. If we have to expand the royalties net and add value to the quarries sector, then we need to properly strategize. So for me to get GH¢100 million royalties annually from the quarries, there are a few things we are doing now. Thus, we are trying to support the quarry sector by introducing what we call de-risking mechanisms, which is essential to provide guarantees to banks that desire to support the quarry sector“, he added.
Expanding the scope of mineral resources that can bring more royalties to the state, the CEO of MIIF said if Ghana doesn’t take care, it will even start importing stones anytime soon.
“Our research shows that there is a huge potential in the other mineral sector. Quarry is one and salt is another. There are only two countries, Ghana and Senegal that have the potential to provide industrial salt, but Nigeria keeps bypassing us to Brazil to bring salt to support their petroleum industry. The potential of salt considering the fact that gold is more finite makes salt much bigger in terms of long-term sustainable value than gold,“ he noted.
Touching on the relevance of the Ghana Mining Week towards achieving Mining for Sustainable Development, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng said the Ghana Mining Week is as good as the South African Mining fair which is good in addressing most of the challenges in the Ghanaian mining sector and commended the Western Regional Minister and his team for growing the Ghana Mining Week and Gold Expo.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah opening this year’s Ghana Gold Expo and Mining Week which also showcased key mining trends and technology as well as site tours, said the Gold Expo and mining week is gradually positioning the Western Region as the headquarters of responsible mining which is good for Ghana. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah who has been the face of the Ghana Mining Week, however, highlighted some achievements of the mining week.
“If there is any other impact that the Ghana Gold Expo has been able to make apart from its basic objective of ensuring a safer mining environment through responsible mining, it is the project’s ability to draw in those in academia to proffer practical solutions to long-aged challenges bedevilling the mining sector through capacity building and technology… I am happy to report that, as an outcome of the Ghana Mining Week and Gold Expo, Gold Fields Ghana Limited is currently advancing discussions with the University of Mines and Technology, UMaT, for both entities to train community mining companies in the Western Region,” he said.
The Western Regional Minister also described the coming on board of the Minerals Income Investment Fund’s Small-Scale Mining Incubation Programme, as a complementary step to what stakeholders have been advocating for over the period.
Meanwhile, Forbes Monaco, an official partner of Ghana Gold Expo and Arum Global partners on Conservation Mine and Reclamation 2022 Awards at the event adjudged the Minerals Income Investment Fund, MIIF, as the BEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.
The citation presented read in part: “Your ability to support and provide alternative financial mechanisms into the small-scale mining sector will ensure responsible gold supply chain and efficient funding platform for small-scale and community miners“.