Accra, Nov. 10, GNA - Gold Fields Ghana Limited on Wednesday said it has invested nearly 40 billion cedis in social responsibility and livelihood enhancement projects in and around its operational areas of Tarkwa and Damang in the Western Region.
The projects included the building of modern schools infrastructure, refurbishment of roads, clinics, construction of bore holes and wells to provide potable water and the provision of basic capacity building opportunities.
Dr Toni Aubynn, Corporate Manager, Public Affairs and Social Development Officer said this at the College of Jewellery's first Annual Sales and Exhibition in Accra on the theme, "bringing tradition and technology together."
Dr. Aubynn said between 2001 and 2003, the company paid over 190 billion cedis in mining royalties.
Similarly, it contributed cumulatively over 440 billion cedis in direct tax to the national economy. This constituted an average of about 5 percent of total direct tax.
In terms of foreign exchange, the company contributed on average 12 percent of the country's total foreign exchange earnings and over 35 percent of foreign exchange from gold exports.
Dr Aubynn said since 2001, the company paid over 55 billion cedis in dividend to the government.
He said Gold Fields was seeking ways to add value to the product, gold, so that the country could benefit more from both direct and indirect taxes.
"We believe the College has a huge potential for the manufacture of good quality gold jewellery with the beautiful Ghanaian traditional symbols, including the famous Adinkra Symbols, as well as being able to train high-level skilled labour in the manufacture of gold products in the country".
The Principal of the College of Jewellery, Mr. Kwame Kwamuar said the aim of the college was to train qualified bench jewellers who could add value to the gold mined in the country by turning the raw gold into jewellery for export.
He said that would expand the non-traditional export level of the country's economy.
Mr Kwamuar stated that the College had decided to offer two scholarships every academic year to needy but brilliant students in the Tarkwa and Damang areas in the Wassa West District of Western Region. He said the scholarship would be known as "Gold Fields Beneficiation Scholarship" (Note Ed Correct) and valued at 15 million cedis per an academic year.