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Coalition to hold meeting to review mining contracts in Ghana

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The National Coalition on Mining (NCOM) would on Tuesday begin a three-day meeting to review the mining component of the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) Programme.

The programme is designed to address governance issues in the natural resources and environment sector.

The NREG has the overall objective of ensuring sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, increasing revenues and improving environmental protection.

The review meeting scheduled for June 5-7, would enable NCOM to examine performance of the programme over the past year and come out with its position on the programme at the Third Civil Society Annual Natural Resources and Environment Sector Review Forum.

The meeting would discuss and take a position on the on-going review and renegotiation of mining contracts and stability agreements.

The Government early this year, set up a seven-member team to review and re-negotiate stability agreements it had entered into with some mining companies to ensure that the country derived maximum benefits from its resources.

The team would determine the extent to which the stability agreements depart from all mining leases granted to other mining companies and redesign any existing mining agreement and or draft new agreement, where necessary, to ensure support for Ghana’s economic growth and development.

In addition, it would establish whether the Stability Agreements comply with provisions of the mining laws of the country, the legal regime for mining (fiscal imposition, foreign exchange regulations, duration of stability arrangements, and the provisions of the country’s tax laws) and the laws applicable to the agreement.

Besides, the team will look at the fiscal regime, governments carried and participating interests and undertake the preparation of a framework or procedures and conditions that will govern granting of stability agreement in the mining sector.

Other areas of reference for the team include the review of the mining list with the view to reducing exemptions granted and promotion of local content and establish whether the country is in a breach of any provision of any mining agreement.

Mr Abdulai Daramani, Head of Environment Unit, Third World Network (TWN) said NCOM had, for a long time, raised some challenges that these contracts posed for Ghana and communities that host these investors.

He said the Coalition had received an invitation from the Review Committee to make a representation, and the meeting would be used to discuss the issue, take a position and make a presentation to the Committee.

“We will engage the review committee and offer our views on alternatives to help advance the contribution of the mining sector to the country’s overall development,” Mr Daramani said, adding that, some of government’s recent actions such as the windfall tax and the capital allowance were consistent with the position of the Coalition.

Source: GNA

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