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The Precious Minerals Marketing Commission (PMMC) Limited would by July 2013 establish a gold refinery to enable the Commission add value and fetch higher dividends from gold produced with daily commercial refining capacity of 10 kilogrammes.
Mr Rueben Darko Damptey, Managing Director of the PMMC, said on Monday, that the operations of the refinery would cost $3.5 million and it would help in putting to an end the gold scamming business being perpetrated in some African countries.
He was speaking to journalists at the end of a short ceremony organized by PMMC to welcome a delegation from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) to learn from the best practices of Ghana’s small-scale mining industry.
Mr Damptey said management was in the process of establishing a laser cutting system for complicated and bigger diamond by November 2013 at an expected cost of 500,000 dollars.
He said he was optimistic that the improved cutting method would enable the Commission to both cut and polish the rough stones that had been mined locally at full capacity and also to fetch profit at the world market price.
Mr Damptey said management would continue to implement variety of training programmes to sharpen the skills, knowledge and technical competence of PMMC staff.
He said the Commission had targeted to operate in new markets in the country and in the Economic Community of West Africa States through market co-operation and imaginative collaboration with international jewellery manufactures.
He added that management would develop other local stones for ornament making.
Mr Damptey expressed optimism that the Zambian delegation would gain insight into the organized activities of Ghana’s small-scale mining industry.
Mr Mwiza Mbewe, Investments Manager with the ZCCM said he was so far satisfied with what he had learnt and heard about the industry in Ghana.
He said his country was deeply involved in mining semi-precious stones like emerald, amethyst and aqua marine.
Mr Mbewe said he was optimistic that the Ghanaian experience would be useful in helping ZCCM to develop other mining sectors of the Zambian economy.
The PMMC was established in 1963 as Ghana’s Diamond Marketing Board charged with the responsibility for the purchase and marketing of the country’s diamonds.
In 2000, it was converted by Act 461 to a limited liability company to operate under the Ghana Companies Code (Act 179 of 1963) as Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited.
PMMC is mandated to buy and sell gold and diamonds from small-scale miners, produce gold jewellery for sale locally and internationally as well as to export gold on behalf of third parties for a commission.
It is also to smelt and assay gold at the request of agents and suppliers for sale and appoint licensed buyers for the purchase of precious minerals produced by small-scale miners.