Ghana's Minerals Commission has come up with a regulatory framework that will ensure that mining companies operating in the country cough up more to the government coffers.
The new legislation will require the companies to pay an exact percentage of their total revenue, which is yet to be calculated, as royalties. As of now, Ghana's Minerals Act stipulates a mining royalty of 'not more than 6 per cent or not less than 3 per cent' of the revenue. But companies, whether big or small, have only been paying 3 per cent--the lowest rate--to the government. This is despite the fact that gold, a major source of foreign exchange for Ghana, is selling at an all time high of over us $1,000 an ounce (28.3gm). Given the strong performance of gold in the international market, the commission says, it is prudent to put in place measures that would ensure that the country benefits from the sales of the minerals. The bill also looks into how communities can benefit from the royalties paid to the government.
The move makes Ghana the latest in the growing list of African countries that are increasing royalties and other taxes on companies for exploiting their mineral resources.
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