Last week, Ghana Business News carried a story based on a report by Oxfam which accused Perseus Mining of not paying tax in Ghana since 2011. Ghana Business News reached to Perseus and they have sent the following response.
Our attention has been drawn to a factually inaccurate article published by the Ghana Business News on its website with the title “Australian Miner – Perseus hasn’t paid tax in Ghana since 2011 – Oxfam”.
The article reproduces sections of a biased report written by Oxfam based on “research” it stated it has conducted on Australian companies operating in the extractive sector including African countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo in which it makes incorrect assumptions on corporate income taxes which in its view could have been due from the companies.
The Oxfam report and your article incorrectly confuse revenue and profits. Income tax is paid on profit after allowable expenses. While Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited (Perseus) is yet to recover over $150 million of funds it invested in exploration and to develop the mine, it is budgeting to start paying income tax this current financial year. Payment of corporate income tax is based on tax laws in the jurisdiction in which the entity operates. Perseus has complied with the tax laws of Ghana and will continue to operate within the laws and ensure a high level of compliance.
Perseus group companies have been investing in exploration in Ghana since 2004 and Perseus commenced production at the Edikan Mine in 2011. Perseus has paid $162million (including $96million in royalties) directly to the Ghana Revenue Authority since commencing its operations. This amount excludes the payment of many millions more on import duties and other levies that has not been specifically isolated, and taxes paid by its contractors, suppliers and thousands of Ghanaians employed as a result of the mine’s existence.
Perseus has set up the Edikan Trust Fund to provide funds for the development of the communities in its operational area contributing $300,000 per year into the Fund. PMGL has been working with the communities and the two district and municipal assemblies within its operational area to execute various projects and programmes identified by the communities as being critical to their developmental needs. Some of the projects implemented include construction of five school buildings, two health centers, teachers’ quarters, nurses’ quarters, ICT center, two small town water systems, two community centers, two aqua privy toilets and provision of scholarships and bursaries to 199 students in second cycle and tertiary institutions.
Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited is a socially responsible company and will continue to operate ethically and contribute its fair share for the development of the catchment communities and Ghana.