The establishment of a Gold Assay Centre at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has helped the government to prevent GH¢14.1 million tax evasion from gold export.
The centre, since its establishment in July 2016, has seen 13,492,03.70 ounces of gold weighed and validated and valued at almost $19 million.
Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources announced this when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra.
The Meet-the-Press series provides a platform for sector Ministers to update the public on various interventions and initiatives implemented by their ministries and to answer questions from the media.
“Total tax revenue accruing to the government from the assay over the period amounted to GH¢14.1 million. Without the assay process, this would have been lost,” Mr Asomah-Cheremeh pointed out.
The Minister observed that production companies exported gold over the years without independent confirmation of the actual volumes and grades of the mineral.
Therefore, the Ministry established a gold assay centre at the KIA to properly track (weigh, test, value and certify) actual volumes and grades of gold being exported.
“I am pleased to say that as it stands today, gold exported out of the country passes through the assay process for validation of the actual value,” he added.
The Gold Assay Centre at the KIA generates taxes and fees for gold validated before export.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said to ensure proper accountability for mineral exports, two weigh bridges were constructed at Apemanim in the Ahanta West district and Awaso in the Bibiani- Anhwianso-Bekwai district in the Western North Region to track bulk mineral being hauled to the Takoradi Port.
He said the Ministry, in 2017, identified that the export of bulk mineral was undertaken by companies without proper tracking mechanisms to confirm the actual volume of minerals produced and exported.
The move, he said, would ensure that the nation was not cheated regarding shipments of bulk minerals.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the production performance of Ghana’s major minerals during the period under review witnessed unstable trends in all the major minerals produced.
On production of gold, the Minister said, over 4.2 million ounces were produced in 2016 and 2017.
In 2018, production of gold increased significantly to almost five million ounces and dipped to about 4.7 million ounces in 2019.
For the first half of this year, he said, 2.2 million ounces of gold was produced.
“For bauxite, total production was about 1.3 million metric tonnes in 2016.
That increased to about 1.5 million metric tonnes in 2017. In 2018, the production figure dropped to one million metric tonnes and 1.1 million metric tonnes in 2019.
As of June 2020, about 500,000 metric tonnes had been produced, he said.
The minister indicated that in the case of manganese, production increased from two million metric tonnes in 2016 to three million metric tonnes in 2017, while production in 2018 increased to 4.4 million metric tonnes and 5.4 million metric tonnes in 2019.
He said for the first half of 2020, about 470,000 metric tonnes of manganese was produced.