Chirano Gold Mines yet to declare dividend to the state

Chirano Gold Mines has never declared dividend to the State since it started operations in the country in November 2005.

Mr John G. Seaward, General Manager of the company who made this known to journalists at the Bibiani operations site of the company said the decision not to pay the bonus was because of the commitment of the authorities to re-invest its profit into mining operations.

He said the mine extracted 183,425 ounces of gold last year and expressed the hope that the figure would rise to 264,445 ounces this year.

Mr Seaward said an additional 350 ounces of gold is expected when a new underground mine becomes operational, explaining that the company invested a total of $76 million in the mine.

Mr Seaward said the Chirano mine earned $63.3 million in 2009 while $59.0 million dollars is expected in December this year.

The company paid mineral royalties and tax of $4.95 million in 2009 as against $15.9 million expected to be paid this year.

Within the period under review the company’s commitment to forestry royalties accounted for $0.95 million in 2009 and $1.60 million in 2010, while community support of $1.45 million decreased to $1.12 million.

Mr Seaward said the shortfall was as a result of the establishment of a trust fund, which has so far yielded $26 million.

He said the Chirano mine employs a total of 1,892 with only 10 expatriates and commended the management of the University of Mines and Technology and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for producing a number of technicians who are supporting the mining sector.

Mr Eric Darko, Community and Public Relations Manager of the Mine said the facility occupies only three per cent of its concessionary area, while allowing cocoa, and food crop farms and other income generating ventures to do business alongside its operations.

He said a number of farmers are supported to grow chilly pepper, Soya bean and other cash crops to supplement their incomes.

Mr Darko said the company is promoting a three- year Malaria Control Programme and farm development assistance to farmers.

The Chirano Gold Mine forms part of the Red Back Mining Incorporated of Canada.

Source: GNA

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