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04.11.2004 Business & Finance

President urges mining companies to list on the GSE

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Tarkwa (W/R), Nov 04, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday called on mining companies operating in the country to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

He said this would boost the country's capitalization and strengthen the economy further to the mutual benefit of the nation and the companies.

"It could also strengthen their partnership with the government to create an even more vibrant mining industry", he said.

President Kufuor made the call when unveiling a plaque to inaugurate an 85 million-dollar Carbon-In-Leach (CIL) processing plant for Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL) at Tarkwa in the Western Region.

President Kufuor said another area that should engage the attention of the mining companies was human resource development and its utilization in the sector.

He said with the establishment of the Western University College at Tarkwa, the government was progressively equipping and empowering it to become a world-class Centre of Excellence for training professional and technical mining personnel.

In addition, it would also be used for the development of mining-related industries.

President Kufuor said mining companies were therefore, expected to patronize the University and employ some of its graduates. He asked the mining companies to adopt conscious policies to use some of the few local companies that provide management support services for the mining sector to help build their capacity and provide employment opportunities for their staff.

Mr Brendan Walker, Managing Director of the Company said the Board of Directors' commitment to invest further 160 million dollars in the Company was due to Ghana's political stability.

He said this was in addition to a working legislative environment that assisted both foreign and local companies to operate effectively.

Mr Walker said the Company had established a Goldfields Foundation to provide social amenities to the communities within its catchments area.

He said this year the Company would spend 9 billion cedis on social responsibility programmes. Part of the fund would be used to build a ward at the Tarkwa Government Hospital, the oldest Government Hospital in the country.

He said the Company paid dividend in excess of six million dollars (55 Billion Cedis) to the Government.

GGL at Tarkwa had paid dividends totalling four million dollars since the takeover from the State Gold Mining Company in 1993 and its sister Company paid the highest dividends of 2.5 million dollars to the Government in August this year.

Goldfields limited with 71.1 percent shares of GGL, 18.9 percent by IAMGOLD Corporation, a Canadian company and the Ghana Government 10 per cent.

It acquired the Tarkwa underground mine from the State Gold Mining Company on July 1, 1993 for three million US dollars and a commitment to complete a feasibility study on the open cast potential of the leases. A further condition of the deal was that GGL would continue to operate the small, inefficient underground mine for five years but with the establishment of the CIL plant its life span has been increased for the next 20 years.

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