Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Sulemanu Koney, has hinted that the mining sector is a leading tax payer and contributor to the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA’s) domestic collections in recent years.
He disclosed that the sector alone contributed about GH?1.35 billion to GRA, representing 14.8% of GRA’s total direct taxes in 2015.
He said corporate tax stood at GH¢463.12 million with mineral royalties at GH¢485.6 million while pay as you earn (PAYE) raked in GH¢ 404.74 million and other taxes at GH¢0.87 million.
He added that the industry accounted for 31% of the country’s gross export revenue in 2015, reinforcing its position as the leading source for forex and a major contributor to the country’s balance of payments.
According to him, producing members of the chamber returned USD3.1 billion representing 85% of their mineral revenue (USD3.1 billion) through BoG and the commercial banks in 2015, a situation which has significant bearing on the international reserve position of BoG and the stability of the monetary system as a whole.
Mr. Koney made the disclosure during a media encounter in Takoradi in the Western Region to highlight achievements, progress and challenges of the mining sector in the region.
Among the topics treated included overview of the chamber, survey of Ghana’s minerals landscape, performance of the mining industry, life cycle of mining, fiscal flows from mining, local content, CSI, challenges and recommendations.
He contended that the chamber’s vision to be the respected, effective and unified voice for the mining industry and mission which is “to represent the mining industry in Ghana using the resources and capabilities of its members to deliver services that address members, government and community needs, in order to enhance development” will not be compromised.
He also announced that the mining sector is the country’s leading source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as records from the Minerals Commission show that FDI inflow into the mining sector in 2015 was USD 965 million.
Cumulatively, the investment inflow into the mining sector from 2000 to 2015 stood above US$ 10 billion.
However, he mentioned environmental destruction by illegal miners which mars the image of the entire minerals industry, including properly regulated large scale mining firms as a challenge to the sector. Others are that it imposes significant avoidable cost on duly registered mining companies.
Mr. Koney further mentioned abandoned pits as a potential cause of death of host community members; bequeaths community members, companies and state with rehabilitative costs; deprives the state and community of rent since the operatives are not tax liable; destroys aquatic life and increases cost of treating potable water; threat to potable water availability and threat to production of food and cash crops as major challenges.