The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP has declared that the 3% withholding tax which encouraged smuggling in the mining sector has been slashed to 1.5% which is to be collected at the point of production, specifically the mining sites.
The Minister reiterated that the President’s intent of “indigenizing” the whole mining framework adding that ensuring that mining companies retain the full value chain in the country is what the Ministry and the Minerals Commission are poised to enforce.
The Minister stated that there is more to the mining sector than Galamsey and so he is particularly happy that the developments achieved have taken a holistic approach so far, saying that the Ministry cannot solve all the problems the mining sector presents but they are on course and hope to do better with his team of experts who are ” up to the task” he concluded.
” We cannot resolve all the problems in the mining sector within the period that we’ve been in office and it’s even not possible to resolve all the problems ever but what is important is to take the sector to a satisfactory position and we are on the right track”
Hon. Jinapor stated this during the “Minister’s Press Briefing” on Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021 at the Information Ministry.
He therefore called on all and sundry to support the Ministry and the Minerals Commission to achieve more in the mining sector.
“We will call on Ghanaians to give us all the support for us to be able to handle the Mining sector, the Lands and Forestry sub sectors for the benefit of all Ghanaians”
Speaking on the same platform, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin Ayisi set the records straight with respect to their duties. He said “we do not issue licences; we only regulate the Mining sector”.
He highlighted some achievements the Commission has chalked in the last 8months since he assumed office as CEO.
Among many others he said the Commission has abolished the paper based application effective November 1, 2021, digitised all office records across the country and have also commenced online application for Small Scale Miners, of which 1,700 have already registered.
He also mentioned that up to 11 new items have been added to the local content listing. Disclosing that surface mining operations on a large scale are now to be fully taken over by Ghanaians, catering services, drilling services, and 20% of the financial services of mining are also to go through Ghanaian banks which will positively impact on these banks and Ghana’s economy.
The CEO added that they believe that Ghanaians are now ready and have the capacity to undertake these duties on a large scale.
He however admitted that Ghanaians are not technologically ready for the underground mining on large scale but are still to partner with the foreigners on that front.
He said to ensure proper and effective monitoring which will be done by officers of the Commission, 20 pickup vehicles will be provided through the efforts of the sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor by the end of the year.
As a way of encouraging and strengthening officers for the task ahead, Mr. Ayisi said, the Commission is constructing new offices across the country and also renovating laboratories that needs to be renovated to enhance their work.
Touching on Community Mining Scheme (CMS), the CEO declared that the CMS oversight committee will be rolled out soon. Adding that 100 Mercury free machines will be provided to help stop the use of Mercury in mining.
Stating the timelines for delivery of these Mercury free machines, he said the first 20 will be available within the next 2 weeks and the rest by March, 2022.
Mr. Martin Ayisi also announced that the Reclamation Programme to restore lost lands through mining have started in Kumasi and will be continued in the Central and Western North regions of Ghana.
Also present at the briefing were the Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, Deputy Minister in charge of Mines, Hon. George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister for Information, Hon. Fatimatu Abubakari, the Advisor to the Minister on Mines, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a Deputy CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Samuel Tika, as well as other officials from the Ministry and the Commission.