The Ghana Chamber of Mines has urged the government to provide a conducive environment that will allow exploration companies to invest practically 100% rather than paying taxes and various levies even before they break ground.
The current regulation of the mining industry sees exploration companies paying huge sums of monies in taxes even before they make discoveries in commercial value.
According to Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the practice deters a lot of investors.
He said investors don't often find the sector lucrative to invest in exploration.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a media engagement last week, he said exploration is also an expensive venture. He indicated that paying big on VAT when no commercial discovery has been made is not the best practice if the government wants the industry to grow.
“We are saying this is not too good, it’s not good for exploration. It detracts from the competitiveness of Ghana as an investment destination for exploration investment and these are measures we want taken that they should be excused so to speak from payment of these levies and taxes on exploration spend,” the Ghana Chamber of Mines CEO shared.
It is in this vein the Chamber is calling on government to excuse these companies from paying taxes at the exploration stage to allow for the full commitment of funds into the discovery of minerals and natural resources.
Mr Koney stated, “Well, we didn’t do too well in attracting investment into exploration and for us, that is the lifeblood that is what shows the sustainability of the mining industry and it’s one of the concerns we have that we need to provide a fertile environment, the conducive environment for exploration companies to use practically 100% of their exploration investment into exploration rather than paying taxes and various levels even before they break ground."
He continued, “So we continue to advocate and engage with various stakeholders for this to happen and our expectation is that in the not too distant future policymakers will hear our cry and put in place the kind of policies which will allow exploration companies to operate quite competitively in this country.”
Through media engagement, the Ghana Chamber of Mines is aiming to leverage the good work of Ghanaian journalists to promote the mining industry to become the mining services hub on the continent.