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22.11.2005 General News

Mining Sector to provide one billion-dollar annually

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Accra, Nov 22, GNA - Professor Donimic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines on Tuesday projected one billion-dollar Foreign Direct Investment inflow into the mining sector annually, with three new mining companies showing up.

He said the Government would, therefore, pursue prudent policies that would attract quality investors to meet the target within the fiscal year.

Speaking at the launch of the Gold Fields Ghana Limited Foundation in Accra, Prof Fobih noted that the exploitation of mining resources had contributed substantially to the nation's development. "In the past two decades, the mining sector, particularly the gold sector had led in the country's foreign direct investment, having attracted over six billion dollars into the country's economy", he said. Prof Fobih said with these positive developments the Government would continue to pursue policies that would not only attract high quality investors but also ensure sustainable development of the mining communities as well.

The Minister also reiterated the Ministry's effort in establishing Mining Community Development Fund, which would be operational next year. Prof Fobih praised Gold Fields Ghana Ltd for its enormous investment in significant national projects and fulfilling it social responsibility contract with the mining communities.

"Government recognise Gold Fields investment of about 750 million dollars since 1993 coupled with prompt payment of dividends which amounted to over 6.5 dollars since 2001" he said.

Mr Bredan Walker, Managing Director Gold Fields Ghana Ltd, noted that the foundation, which has been running since 2002 had spent nearly 50 billion cedis between the Tarkwa and Damang, mines to assist local communities.

He said the Foundation's main objective was to promote and facilitate sustainable socio-economic development in order to improve upon the quality of lifestyle.

" In fiscal year (2004/2005) alone, more than 11 billion cedis was invested in social responsibility projects within the communities and another 13.5 billon cedis has been made available under the Foundation for the implementation of various community development projects during the Company's current, year (2005/06).

In addition to projects funded by the Foundation, Gold Fields Ghana has typically also provided additional funding to sustainable development projects; this additional funding amounted to more than 2.6 billion dollars in fiscal year 2005 alone".

Mr Bredan said the Foundation's primary focus areas had completed the construction or renovation of classroom blocks, provision of teacher's accommodation in rural communities, health and sanitation projects as well as water facilities.

He indicated that funding of the Foundation would directly depend on production and profitability through a yearly contribution of one dollar of every ounce of gold produced plus 0.5 per cent of pre-tax profit.

For instance, in 2005/06 financial-year alone, the foundation would receive more than 1.5 million dollars for community social investment projects.