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04.11.2004 Business & Finance

Government to establish a Gold Museum -JAK

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Tarkwa (W/R), Nov 04, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said the Government was considering the establishment of a gold museum and a general mining museum.

He said in addition, the government would like to encourage the development of a gold refinery and market for the production and sale of jewellery produced in the country.

"These projects will be fitting tributes to our mining industry and I hope the mining companies will support some of them", he said. President Kufuor said this 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.

The CIL plant which is capable of recovering about 96 per cent of gold from the ore, consists of eight tanks in series of which seven contain activated carbon. Cyanide is added to the circuit to ensure dissolution of the gold that is then absorbed onto the carbon.

The slurry overflowing the last CIL tank forms the tailing that is pumped to the Tailings Storage Facility; the carbon loaded with gold is recovered over the carbon screen where it is cleaned of slurry. The molten gold is then poured into moulds and allowed to cool down after which it is cleaned, stamped and sold to Rand Refinery in South Africa.

President Kufuor commended the Company for the establishment of the Golden Loan Project through which it provided five kilogrammes of gold valued at over 500 million cedis to the College of Jewellery in Accra to manufacture jewellery for sale.

He said this should promote value addition to gold produced in the country and the government expected the College to play a key role in the training of goldsmiths.

President Kufuor said the Company donated 100 million cedis to the Western University College at Tarkwa towards the rehabilitation of its infrastructure.

He said a major challenge in the mining industry was to ensure that minerals were exploited in a responsible manner to the benefit of all stakeholders.

President Kufuor assured Ghanaians especially those living in mining communities that the government was fully committed to the principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to ensure that receipts and payments in the mining sector were made not only in the most transparent manner but also that proceeds were utilised for visible development projects that benefit the communities and individuals.

Mr Alan Wright, Deputy Chairman of GGL, said it was the desire of the Company to play a leading role in helping to fulfil the government's vision of a Golden Age of Business.

He said the signing of a Development Agreement between the government and the Company would confirm the existing fiscal and legal stability in Ghana and would also provide a sound basis for the Company to operate in Ghana for a very long time.

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 owns 71.1 percent shares in 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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