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Chamber of mines backs auditing of mining companies

Director responsible for Public Affairs and Environment at the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ahmed Nantogmah
Director responsible for Public Affairs and Environment at the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ahmed Nantogmah

The Ghana Chamber of Mines has welcomed the decision by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to roll out an operational audit for all mining companies in the country.

The audit which will be rolled out in the next two to three weeks, is to ensure that revenue received by government from the country’s mining industry, is accurate.

This also follows a recent disclosure of undervalued revenue received from gold exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In an interview with Citi Business News, the Director of External Affairs and Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ahmed Nantogmah, also said the mining companies will wait for official directives from the ministry on what to do to help in its endeavor.

“Definitely; I’m sure they will have modalities as to how they will have it done and when they will have it done and definitely as mining companies, I don’t think anybody will say no. So we will wait for the Minister to send us the modalities and then we will take it from there.”

Mr. Nantogmah further expressed confidence in the mining companies in the country on their willingness to be transparent as possible to facilitate the audit.

“Well I don’t think we have to give any advice because mining companies tend to be transparent in matters like this; they work with the GRA and all those companies so it will be a routine matter for them to work with government to be sure that the amounts they are declaring are accurate”.

He added, “So it won’t be anything special because a lot of the time, we are transparent so we welcome this move by the ministry and I don’t think any of our members will stand in the way of the ministry”.

President Nana Akufo-Addo recently revealed that, about $5 billion dollars were unaccounted for in gold exports from Ghana to the United Arab Emirates.

In September 2017, it emerged that the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), at the time, could not trace most of the companies involved in the export of $2.3 billion worth of gold in 2016, that did not result in the repatriation of foreign currency.

Indications were that the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service had begun a probe into the matter which is said to involve about 145 companies.

The PMMC is mandated to oversee the export of gold from the small-scale mining sector, and the law requires at least 80 percent of foreign currency earned from exports to be repatriated into the country.

It however appears it has fallen short in its mandate to ensure the accuracy of revenue generated.

By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Citi Business News