The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has announced that the 3% withholding tax on unprocessed gold which encouraged smuggling in the mining sector has been slashed by half to 1.5%.
He said the1.5% rate will now be collected at the point of production, specifically the mining sites.
The minister reiterated that the President’s intent of “indigenising” the whole mining framework to ensure that mining companies retain the full value chain in the country.
Taking his turn at the “Minister’s Press Briefing” at the Ministry of Information in Accra on Tuesday, Mr. Jinapor stated that there is more issues in the mining sector, particularly galamsey, and the ministry is determined to be what he called “up to the task.”
“We cannot resolve all the problems in the mining sector within the period that we’ve been in office and it’s even not possible to resolve all the problems ever but what is important is to take the sector to a satisfactory position and we are on the right track,” he pointed out.
He called for more support for the ministry and the Minerals Commission to achieve more in the mining sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, set the records straight with respect to their operations, saying “we do not issue licences, we only regulate the mining sector.”
He highlighted some achievements the commission has chalked in the last eight months since he assumed office as CEO, saying the commission has abolished the paper based application effective November 1, 2021, digitised all office records across the country and have also commenced online application for small scale miners, of which 1,700 have already registered.
He mentioned that up to 11 new items have been added to the local content listing and said there is a directive that surface mining operations on a large scale are now to be fully taken over by Ghanaians, catering services, drilling services, and 20% of the financial services of mining are also to go through Ghanaian banks which will positively impact on the banks and the local economy.
The CEO added that they believe that Ghanaians are now ready and have the capacity to undertake these duties on a large scale.
He, however, admitted that Ghanaians are not technologically ready for the underground mining on large scale but are allowed to partner foreigners on that front.
He said to ensure proper and effective monitoring, 20 pickup vehicles will be provided through the efforts of the sector minister before the year ends and the commission is constructing new offices across the country and also renovating laboratories to enhance their work.
The CEO said that the Community Mining Scheme (CMS) oversight committee will be rolled out soon, adding that 100 mercury free machines will be provided to help stop the use of mercury in mining.
He said the Reclamation Programme to restore lost lands through mining have started in Kumasi and will be continued in the Central and Western North regions.
Present at the briefing were the Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio, Deputy Minister in charge of Mines, George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakari, the Advisor to the Minister on Mines, Benjamin Aryee, and a Deputy CEO of the Minerals Commission, Samuel Tika.