Mining Sector Not Cheating Ghana
– Chamber of Mines
According to the Chamber, it can vouch that Ghana has not been shortchanged in anyway, contrary to what some people may be insinuating, especially in recent time.
Following the signing of the lithium agreement by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources on October 20, 2023, some Civil Society Organizations (CEOs) and prominent personalities have criticized the 15-year-old contract.
According to former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, the agreement between Ghana and Barari DV lithium was not different from previous colonial type of deals.
But speaking on the issue in a statement, the group said, “The Chamber finds it unfortunate that some commentators have inaccurately portrayed the mining sector as shortchanging the country in terms of the distribution of mineral rents.”
It said putting aside employment created in the sector to absorb local content and the purchases from local suppliers, more than a proportionate share of mineral rents accrues to the government.
According to the Chamber, a model by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) suggests the profit-sharing ratio the country presently enjoys under mining rent is within the recommendable limit.
“The government’s share of mining rents is “just over 50%” which “falls comfortably within the 40% to 60%” profit-sharing ratio recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for mining countries,” it said.
While acknowledging some fiscal inflows from the sector are mixed with other taxes in the Consolidated Fund, the Chamber said it has since advocated the adoption of fiscal payments similar to practices in the oil and gas sector.
It believes the locked-up inflows which blend with other funds is impeding the visibility of the developmental impact of the mining sector.
“The Chamber has been championing the plough-back of a commensurate portion of mineral revenue to host communities in a timely manner to complement the voluntary corporate social investment initiatives of its member companies to enhance socio-economic development,” the statement emphasized.
Although it appreciated the varied discourse ongoing about the lithium deal, the Chamber is advising circumspection in making utterances.
The organization wants conversations around the deal not to shy away private investment in the sector.
“The conflation of the views of the different stakeholders is expected to enhance the outcomes of the project without hurting the country’s ability to attract requisite private capital to develop mineral endowments responsibly,” the statement urged.
The Chamber lauded the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission for their commitment to promoting constructive public discourse, inclusive development, and transparency.
“In the same vein, we commend the civil society community for their important contributions to seeking a fair share of the benefits associated with the development of lithium resources for the country,” the Chamber commended.