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05.07.2005 General News

Gov't promises dynamic mining environment

GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA - Government on Tuesday said it was working vigorously to create the best mining environment in Ghana and that the revised Mining Bill was before Parliament for immediate action. It would also continue to support the sector through sustaining the provision of maps, databases and strengthening of the institutions that worked on them.

Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, said this in Accra when he received a cheque for 2.5 million dollars (23 billion cedis) from Gold Fields Ghana Limited being dividend for the period 2004-2005.

He said the Government last week signed three agreements valued at 23 million dollars with the European Commission for geological mapping, airborne geophysics and information management.

"All these are geared toward making the industry more attractive and viable, making operators to have adequate value on their investments."

Prof. Fobih congratulated Gold Fields Ghana Limited for its good performance, which he said was attained through prudent management of human material, financial resources and effective time management. He said Ghana still needed its development partners in her efforts to build a vibrant and self-reliant nation.

The Minister said the Government was expecting the mining sector to generate 4.9 per cent of GDP this year.

Gold Fields Ghana said the company made a profit of 25 million dollars in the period under review with production of 676,810 ounces, a sharp increase over the previous figure of 550,002 ounces.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, was upbeat on the higher payout stressing that it had been made possible through Government's prudent economic policies. He referred to the 2005 Budget Statement, which promised an improved mining industry through reduced taxes, improved presentation of mineral information, and the survey of the entire Volta Basin to increase data on the nation's mineral resources.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the Government was also going to carry out a geo-chemical survey of the country, regional gravity survey of Accra and Tema areas while digitising, upgrading and re-printing of 90 old geological maps.

The State would also investigate and evaluate rock resources suitable for ornamental and dimension stones. Mr Agyeman-Manu said the Government would soon introduce a Gold Auditing Programme to audit the gold industry as a means of effectively checking declarations made by mining companies on their production and exports.

"It is also to enable the Government to collect the correct amount of royalties paid by the gold companies... This will ensure that Government is fully informed on the production, exports and profits of companies which will facilitate the collection of correct taxes and royalties due to the State." 5 July 05

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