Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - Government on Thursday received a cheque of one million dollars as dividend from the Tarkwa Goldfields Limited. The one million dollars represents Government's 10 per cent share in the Tarkwa mine, which declared 10 million dollars dividends for the year ending June 2004.
Presenting the cheque, Mr Mike Ezan, Executive Director of Abosso Goldfields Limited, another subsidiary of the Company, said if the current level of gold price was maintained or improved, higher dividends would be paid in the future.
He the adverse movement of the gold price was creating operational difficulties, which had resulted in marginal profitability for many mining companies.
"Despite all odds the Company has maintained its commitment to pay dividends," Mr Ezan said.
He announced that the Abosso Mine presented 2.5 million dollars cheque as its dividends to Government barely a month ago.
Mr Ezan said Goldfields had over the last two years invested over 160 million dollars on major reengineering exercise, which had extended the lifespan of the mine to nearly 30 years.
This year, he said the mine would spend about one million dollars in social responsibility programmes, of which part had been earmarked for the construction of an ultra modern maternity ward for the Tarkwa Government Hospital.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of the Government, Mrs Cecelia Bannerman, Minister of Mines, praised Goldfields Company for consistently honouring their obligation in the prompt payment of dividends.
"Goldfields Company is a shining example in the industry and it has continued to progress in the business for being one of the few companies currently paying dividends to Government," she said.
She called on other companies whose dividends were not forthcoming to back up in order to fulfil their responsibilities.