Mining: Ghana Losing Competitiveness

The future looks gloomy for Ghana's mining sector as the country is fast losing its competitiveness to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, the Ghana Chamber of Mines has warned.

According to the Chamber, high taxes and rising costs of production, among other challenges, are discouraging investments into the sector, especially exploration activities, and forcing companies to relocate to more investor- and business-friendly climates within the sub-region.

“The exploration companies have some challenges and we are engaging government and telling them to look at their policies, particularly to do with exploration, because if you start taxing exploration companies when all they are doing is to be looking for minerals for the state, then you are overburdening them,” lamented Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Mr Sulemanu Koney.

Speaking to The Finder on the sidelines of the Chamber’s 87th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Best Western Premier Hotel, Airport, Accra, last Friday, Mr Koney further explained that “exploration is the bedrock of mining, it’s quite fundamental; it’s basic because you need to find the mineral before you mine.”

The theme for the AGM was ‘Leveraging the Mining Sector to Catalyse National Development.’

“We have a situation where we are not seeing the pipeline of projects we anticipate come into fruition. We are expecting a mine to start pouring gold from the first quarter of next year beyond which there isn't much to look forward to.

“We appear to be losing the plugs on mining to our neighbours; Burkina Faso is coming out strongly, Cote d'Ivoire is also coming up so the future is not too good.

He recommended that stakeholders in the industry take a long-term view of its prospects and agree that it will serve the interest of the country if government foregoes “a little during the initial part of exploration, and that assures us of a larger pie into the future, it could be the best for Ghana.”

Mr Koney, however, indicated that existing mining companies were set to expand their operations and production base, adding that "while it is challenging and we appear to be losing our competitiveness, it is important to ensure that the planned projects come into fruition."

"It is in our interest as a country to ensure that we have a continuous pipeline of projects on a regular basis, but as at now we have a challenge in that area," he stated.

President of the Chamber, Mr Johan Ferreira, who also lamented the rising costs of mining operations in the country, told this reporter that “with the low gold prices and costs rising, it is getting more and more difficult for us in spite of the fact that we have made a major impact on government’s revenue streams.”

Referring to the proverbial “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs,” Mr Ferreira stressed the need for government to give attention to the industry and seek avenues of working together to increase mining investments in the country.

Additional Info

  • Origin: The Finder: GhAgent