Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said that the government has reduced the three percent withholding tax on raw gold to 1.5 percent.
He claims that the prior tariff promoted smuggling, which is why the government decided to lower it.
Starting January 1, 2022, he stated, the tax will be collected at the point of production, specifically at mining sites.
Mr. Abu Jinapor, speaking at a media conference in Accra on Tuesday, said the President’s goal to “indigenize” the whole mining framework, ensuring that mining businesses maintain the full value chain of gold production, was demonstrated by the lowering of the withholding tax on gold.
“I’m delighted that the achievements accomplished so far have followed a comprehensive approach,” the Minister said, adding that there was more to the mining sector than “galamsey.”
He acknowledged that the Ministry could not address all of the issues that the mining industry faced, but said it was on track to do so with the help of a team of specialists who are “up to the challenge.”
“We will never be able to fix all of the difficulties in the mining industry in the time that we have been in office, and we will never be able to solve all of the problems ever.” But the most essential thing is to get the sector to a good place, and we’re on the right way,” Mr. Jinapor said.
As a result, the Minister appealed to all Ghanaians to assist the Ministry and the Minerals Commission in achieving greater success in the mining industry.
“We shall appeal to Ghanaians to provide us with all the assistance we require in order for us to be able to manage the mining industry,” he continued.
Mr. Martin Ayisi, the Minerals Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, presented the policy reforms the Commission had implemented thus far to ensure efficient service delivery.
He highlighted some of the Commission’s accomplishments in the eight months since he took office.
Among these policy efforts, he noted, are the elimination of paper-based applications by November 1, 2021, the digitization of all Commission official data, and the online application for small-scale mining permits, which 1,700 miners had already enrolled for.
He also mentioned that up to 11 new items had been added to the local content procurement list, that large-scale surface mining operations will now be fully taken over by Ghanaians, that catering and drilling services will be provided by Ghanaians, and that 20 percent of mining financial services will be provided by Ghanaian banks, all of which will benefit the Ghanaian economy.
Mr. Ayisi believes that Ghanaians were now ready and capable of performing these tasks on a wide scale.
He did agree, however, that Ghanaians are not technologically equipped for big-scale underground mining and that doing so would necessitate a relationship with huge international mining companies.
He stated that the Commission will receive 20 new Pick-up vehicles before the end of the year to provide adequate and effective surveillance of mining operations.
Mr. Ayisi stated that the Commission is building new district and regional offices around the nation, as well as upgrading laboratories to improve their work, in order to encourage and empower officers for the task ahead.
In relation to the Community Mining Scheme, the Minerals Commission’s CEO stated that an oversight committee will be established soon.
He went on to say that 100 Mercury-free devices will be purchased and distributed to small-scale miners to enable them avoid using Mercury in gold processing.
He stated that the first 20 Mercury-free computers will be ready in the following two weeks, and the remaining machines would be available by March 2022.
Mr. Ayisi further stated that the government’s reclamation program to repair mined-out areas has begun in Kumasi and would continue in the Central and Western North regions next year.