Mining sector performs well despite global economic turmoil – Dr Aryee

Rev. (Dr) Joyce Aryee

Dr Joyce .R. Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, on Tuesday said Ghana’s mining sector performed quite creditably in 2010 despite the global economic turmoil.

She indicated that mining companies were not insulated from the adverse impact of the global economic turmoil.

“According to the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the mining sub-sector grew at a remarkable rate of 11.2 per cent, which compares favourably with the 6.8 per cent recorded in 2009,” she said.

Interacting with Journalists in Koforidua to inform them about the Chamber’s activities and to share ideas on how mining can continue to be a catalyst for sustainable national development, Dr Aryee said mineral revenue represented 49 per cent of Ghana’s gross export earnings in 2010.

This, she said, also compared favourably with the 48 per cent recorded in 2009.

“The mining sub-sector contributed about GH¢520 million (about $364 million) to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) representing 21 per cent of total GRA collections in 2010.”

Dr Aryee said the increase was on account of increased mineral revenue, which translated into higher mineral royalty payments and the rise in Pay as You Earn (PAYE) payments on the back of significant appreciation in salaries (mostly pegged) in US dollars.

She said the mining sector also paid GH¢242 million (US$170 million) in corporate tax to the GRA, representing 24 per cent of the total company tax collected in 2010.

“The sector emerged as the highest payer of corporate tax in 2010 having improved from the third position in 2009”.

On the mining industry and local impact in 2010, Dr Aryee said producing member companies returned about 68 per cent of the $3.7 billion mineral revenue to the country through the Bank of Ghana and the private commercial banks in 2010.

“An average of 20 per cent is repatriated to Ghana through the Bank of Ghana and the 48 per cent through private banks.

She said the significantly high proportion of mineral revenue returned to the country underscored the extent to which the mining industry positively affected the local economy.

“In 2010, the industry spent $865 million representing about 27 per cent of its total funds to procure inputs locally including diesel and power”.

Dr Aryee indicated that the industry directly employs over 12,294 people, adding that out of that number 98 per cent were Ghanaians and two per cent expatriates.

The CEO advocated for a 30 per cent of the royalties to be returned to mining areas over a specific period of time and ring fenced to specific infrastructural projects in order to catalyse the socio-economic development of mining districts

She said the perception that the mining industry did not contribute adequately to the national kitty was not supported by the facts and statistics both in the public domain and within the industry.

“The industry’s contribution to the national economy has been increasing appreciably over the years”.

Dr Aryee said the Chamber would continue to advocate that mining should be seen as a catalyst for development since the US$865 million spent in the country in 2010 alone could have been an impetus for deeper and broader value creation beyond the fiscal amount paid to the state.

Source: GNA

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