Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ghana vows to ‘account for every single bar of gold’ leaving the country

In a bid to bring accountability and transparency to economic management of resources, the Ghanaian government has vowed to account for every single bar of gold leaving the country.

It also promised to end smuggling by tightening controls, and ensure that 50% of total gold output is locally refined in the next five years.

Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghana’s vice-president, told a regional meeting on the oil and mining sectors that previous administration had allowed companies to export gold produced from their mines themselves.

However, he said Ghanaian law required that the state-run precious minerals marketing company test and validate mineral production before export.

“We have now begun conversations about the process of making sure every single bar of gold leaving our shores is properly weighed, tested, valued and accounted for,” Bawumia said.

Ghana, Africa’s second largest gold miner after South Africa, earned $5.78 billion from exports of the metal last year, up 17.6 percent on 2016, central bank data showed.

Bawumia did not accuse any mining firms of wrongdoing and did not suggest past exports had been undervalued.

But President Nana Akufo-Addo, who took office last year, said about $5 billion worth of revenues from gold exports to the United Arab Emirates were unaccounted for.
He did not give a timescale or details to support the claim.

Industry watchers believe the unreported shipments represented smuggled gold produced by Ghana’s thousands of artisanal miners, whose activities are not properly documented.
The government has banned small-scale mining as part of a general clampdown on illegal miners last year.
(The Cable)

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