The mining industry recorded an increase in mineral revenue from 798 million dollars in 2004 to 995 million dollars in 2005. It thus contributed about 13 per cent of all Internal Revenue Service collections in 2005.
It also retained about 48 per cent of the nation's export earnings in 2005 to support their operations and also fulfill their retention obligations to the Central Bank.
Miss Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, made these known when members of the Chamber paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah at his office in Kumasi last Tuesday.
The visit was to interact with the Minister and brief him on some of the projects and achievements made by the mining companies in their areas of operations.
Miss Aryee said the increases in the mining sector were on the account of improvements in the realistic prices as well as outputs of all minerals. She said bauxite production increased from 498,060 tonnes in 2004 to 726,608 tonnes in 2005 while manganese output increased from 1,593,778 tonnes in 2004 to 1,714,797 tonnes in 2005.
The Chief Executive said manganese prices went up by 18.49 per cent whilst bauxite prices increased by 16.37 per cent. Diamond prices went up by 14.54 per cent and gold prices gained 9.3 per cent.
Miss Aryee said mining companies had also contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the communities in their areas of operation and mentioned the handing over of the properties of the Obotan Mine Project by the Resolute Amansie Limited to the government and appealed to the Regional Co-ordinating Council to play a role in determining how the facilities would be utilised.
Miss Aryee urged the government and the Town and Country Planning Department to develop strategic plans for the mining areas. She expressed concern about the activities of illegal miners and called on the Regional Minister to assist the companies to flush them out.
Mr Owusu-Ansah commended the mining companies for their immense contribution to the growth and development of the country's economy. He said illegal mining activities had continued to be a source of worry to both mining companies and the government and that there was the need to find a sustainable measures that would stem the practice. He said the Regional Co-ordinating Council would work to ensure that the environment was not destroyed as a result of illegal mining activities.